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updated: 5/9/2013 7:15 AM

Ill. med marijuana backers defend enforcement

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  • Multiple sclerosis patient Jim Champion listens to lawmakers during a Senate Executive Committee hearing on medical marijuana at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday.

      Multiple sclerosis patient Jim Champion listens to lawmakers during a Senate Executive Committee hearing on medical marijuana at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate sponsor of legislation to legalize medicinal marijuana use says there are sufficient protections for motorists in the bill.

Sen. William Haine says the proposal requires users to submit to a field sobriety test if they're pulled over by police while driving.

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The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association oppose the bill. They say it should set a standard for marijuana impairment and allow blood and urine tests to gauge that level.

The Senate Executive Committee OK'd the plan 10-5 Wednesday. It's already passed the House.

Haine, an Alton Democrat, says standard field sobriety tests are sufficient.

The police groups say those tests work with drunk drivers but their effectiveness on marijuana is unknown.

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