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Veterans key to medical marijuana lobby efforts

12:23 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: Desiree Martin, AFP/Getty Images)
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SOPHIA TAREEN
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - For 25 years, Army veteran Jim Champion has suffered from multiple sclerosis, which gives him intense pains in his arms, legs, hands and feet. He says the only thing that gives him relief is marijuana.

Champion is hoping that Gov. Pat Quinn will think of him when deciding whether to sign a measure legalizing medical use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Illinois.

Champion's story and the testimony of other seriously ill patients have been central to lobbying for the measure. Champion's testimony swayed Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, who's a former prosecutor, and he told his story to Quinn in a private meeting in 2011.

So far, the Chicago Democrat has only said that he's "open minded" on the issue.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

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