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Illinois Medical Marijuana Bill Signed Into Law By Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday August 1, 2013
Illinois became the 20th state in the nation to allow the medical use of marijuana Thursday, with Gov. Pat Quinn signing some of the nation’s toughest standards into law.
The measure, which takes effect Jan. 1, sets up a four-year pilot program for state-regulated dispensaries and 22 so-called cultivation centers, where the plants will be grown.
Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, focused his remarks on how medical marijuana will help seriously ill patients, including veterans, which have been a key focus during his time in office. He also played up Illinois’ standards.
“It’s important we do whatever we can to help ease their pain,” Quinn said Thursday at a new medical facility at the University of Chicago. “The reason I’m signing the bill is because it is so tightly and properly drafted.”
Under the measure, only patients with serious illnesses or diseases will be allowed to obtain medical marijuana. The bill lists more than 30, such as cancer, muscular dystrophy and lupus. The patients must have established relationships with a doctor and will be limited to 2.5 ounces every two weeks.
Currently, 19 other states and Washington, D.C., allow medical marijuana. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a medical marijuana bill into law last week.
Illinois’ rules are among some of the strictest in the nation, according to Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. The Washington-D.C. based legalization advocacy group tracks state laws and helps some craft bills.
For one, Illinois won’t allow home growing operations like more than a dozen other states do. The growing centers will have to be under 24-hour video surveillance, which is uncommon compared to other states. O’Keefe said most states also have more general guidelines on who can obtain medical marijuana.
Also, there’s no reciprocity: Those who obtain medical marijuana legally in other states won’t be allowed to get it in Illinois.
Legalizing medical marijuana faced some opposition in Illinois, mainly from opponents who feared it would encourage drug use and authorities who feared it would complicate driving-under-the-influence tests. Some anti-crime groups also objected to the 2.5-ounce amount, which they said was too much.
State Rep. Lou Lang, a bill sponsor, dismissed the concerns, saying it would be difficult to obtain the drug for anyone who didn’t need it. He said he was motivated to take up the issue after hearing from patients, and noted the new law would allow them a safe way to obtain relief.
“Are we really going to be a state where we’re going to allow a 75-year-old granny with colon cancer to have to search for a remedy for her pain and her nausea? I don’t think that’s the kind of state we want to be,” Lang, a Skokie Democrat said at the news conference.
He has also said that the 2.5-ounce amount is to accommodate patients who ingest, not smoke, it, such as in baked goods.
Army veteran Jim Champion was at Thursday’s news conference, along with several other people who’ve dealt with chronic pain. Champion, 46, has suffered from a progressive form of multiple sclerosis for 25 years, leaving him a quadriplegic.
At one time, he was taking nearly 60 pills a day, including morphine and valium. But he said marijuana – which his wife obtained illegally – was the only thing that gave him relief from chronic and constant pain. He now takes about two dozen pills a day.
Champion, who has lobbied state lawmakers on the issue, said he felt vindicated.
“Now, we’re going to be offered a safer and more effective alternative to pain and spasm relief than the pharmaceuticals that we’ve been given by the bucket loads in the past,” he said. “I’ve always been ashamed that I was criminalized by the actions that I was forced to take for my pain relief.”
Medical Marijuana Bill OK with Illinois House
The Illinois House voted to legalize marijuana in Illinois for medical use in a potential breakthrough for supporters Wednesday following an emotional debate that included lawmakers’ stories of friends and relatives seeking relief from overwhelming pain and sickness.
The 61-57 vote for a four-year pilot program was cheered by supporters who say the House has long been the highest hurdle for legalization; the Senate has previously passed similar legislation and Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday he was “open-minded” about the proposal.
Illinois House Approves Medical Marijuana
Certain patients in Illinois may soon be able to use marijuana to relieve their pain. The Illinois House has approved the legalization of medical marijuana. The bill’s sponsor calls the regulation the strictest in the nation. Patients with debilitating medical conditions and terminal illnesses, like cancer, are eligible. The proposal outlines 33 diseases in total.
Under the plan, patients could get up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Doctors who have an established relationship could prescribe it for certain conditions. Patients would register with the state, and they would get the marijuana from up to 60 state-regulated dispensaries. Lawmakers are limiting the number of growers to one in each state police district.
Under the new pilot program, qualifying patients would be able to purchase their prescribed medical marijuana from one of sixty Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries that the new pilot program would call for.
The bill creates a four-year pilot program for medical marijuana. It would start on the first of next year.
The proposal now heads to the Senate for consideration. Gov. Pat Quinn said he’s “open-minded” about the idea. If the Senate follows suit, and Quinn agrees, Illinois will become the 21st state to allow marijuana for medical use. The Illinois medical marijuana plan will be implemented through an authorized pilot program. Under the program, physicians will only be able to prescribe medical marijuana to patients that they are currently seeing and have an existing doctor/patient relationship with. In order for a patient to qualify for medical marijuana, they must first have a background check completed and then have one of the thirty-six terminal illnesses or other medical conditions that are listed on the bill.
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Chicago Medical Marijuana Clinics are the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Doctors Clinics in the United States. As soon as the Illinois four-year pilot program for the Medical use of Marijuana posts the rules and regulations for the program, our licensed Illinois doctors will begin certifying patients for Illinois Marijuana Cards.
Our educated doctors and staff will guide you through the process and answer all your questions about medical marijuana in Chicago, Illinois. To start the process, just click here to start the certification process now.
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Requirements for Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Chicago
BE AN ILLINOIS RESIDENT
1. You must be Illinois resident and have a State issued driver license or valid Illinois Photo Id to get a Illinois Medical Marijuana Card
2. You must be over the age of 18 to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in the State of Illinois. State issued identification with your photo is required
YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION
3. Your recent medical records must be reviewed by our doctors under the Illinois State Medical Marijuana Laws and must have a qualifying medical condition.
MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT
4. After our Doctors review your medical records within the last 12 months, you will be Pre-Certified before your appointment. Don’t have your records? We can get them for you.