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updated: 5/8/2013 5:14 PM

Illinois Senate committee OKs medical marijuana

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- An Illinois Senate committee has approved a proposal that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The Senate Executive Committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to send the measure to the full Senate. The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions. The measure creates a pilot program that limits the frequency and amount of marijuana patients can buy.

Medical marijuana consumers automatically consent to submit themselves to a sobriety field test should a police officer suspect they were driving under the influence of the drug. Some opponents say the test works for alcohol but not marijuana.

Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without causing the harmful side effects of some prescription drugs.

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