Illinois Becomes Twenty-First Medical Marijuana State

Illinois became the latest state to allow for the medical use of marijuana Thursday, when Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed into law House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. It now joins 20 other states and the District of Columbia.

medical marijuana (wikimedia.org)
"As Nelson Mandela once said, 'Our human compassion binds us the one to the other -- not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future'," Gov. Quinn said in a Thursday press release. "Over the years, I've been moved by the brave patients and veterans who are fighting terrible illnesses. They need and deserve pain relief. This new law will provide that relief and help eligible patients ease their suffering, while making sure Illinois has the nation's strictest safeguards to prevent abuse."

Sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), the bill is tightly written and highly restrictive. Patients and caregivers will not be allowed to grow their own; instead they must rely on a system of 22 cultivation centers, which will be subject to 24-hour surveillance and inventory control, and no more than 60 licensed dispensaries statewide. Patients will be able to purchase up to 2 ½ ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks.

The law specifies 35 medical conditions for eligibility, such as muscular dystrophy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS. The prescribing physician and patient must have an established relationship. Minors and people with felony drug convictions or psychiatric conditions do not qualify. Patients may not be police officers, firefighters, probation officers or school bus drivers. Patients who drive while impaired by medical cannabis face the same penalties as those who drive while impaired by prescription drugs.

Under the law, medical marijuana use is barred in schools, prisons, homes used for childcare, or any public place. Landlords may refuse to allow marijuana smoking on leased properties, and employers will still be able to fire patients who test positive for marijuana.

Medical marijuana will be taxed at the same 1% rate as pharmaceutical drugs, but grow centers and dispensaries will also pay a 7% "privilege tax," which will go to paying administrative costs for the program. Unlike just about any other economic sector, dispensaries and cultivation centers are barred from contributing to political campaigns.

"Pain and suffering for many chronically ill and terminally ill individuals will be significantly lessened, if not eliminated in some cases, because of Governor Pat Quinn's courage to sign a controversial bill that often has been subjected to distortions and fear mongering," said Rep. Lang, a Deputy Majority Leader in the Illinois House. "On behalf of the many patients who came to Springfield to advocate for the bill, I want to thank the governor."

"Patients afflicted by the most unbearable conditions finally have a compassionate answer to their cries for help," said Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton), a former prosecutor. "This program alleviates suffering and provides strong safeguards against abuse. We are ensuring only those suffering from the most serious diseases receive this treatment."

Supporters of HB 1 included the Illinois Nurses Association, Protestants for the Common Good, Illinois State Bar Association, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, United Food and Commercial Workers, ACLU of Illinois, AFL-CIO, Community Renewal Society, Illinois Eye Center, 270 physicians from across the state and many others. Deserving of special mention is the Marijuana Policy Project, which has spent a decade making Illinois the first Midwest state to approve medical marijuana through the legislative process.

For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Springfield, IL
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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medical marijuana

Kudos to you Governor Quinn...for your wisdom and compassion

what exactly are all of the

what exactly are all of the conditions that allow for you to get a medical card?

not enough information

WOW the computer made it almost so i couldnt right any thing in this comment, so i had to keep refreshing and then click to stop the page from completely loading so i could write/tpy so the government gets to pick and choose there own growing places? thats umm i think another way to controll it for any one getting there smokeing plant. or bakeing butter plant, however you like. i live on the boarder of Ill, and Iowa. its called the quad cities. my dad is a retired fire fighter, with MS. and idk when its going to take his legs away, since hes been on beta sieron* or what ever he injects into his ass. ever since i was little. smokeing weed or eating it is no reason to stop his medication. but sometimes he says he has flares, ware his leggs might go week, or his eye stight blurrs. and ive found out when my parents first got togather. he was dealing the mary jane. and woke up to a gun at his head in the middle of the night to steal what ever he had. the story has never been fully explained to me. that doesnt make my dad a bad person. hes always visting his mom, (my grandmother of cource) and i was sent to a private catholic school. so lets get to me, about 9 months ago i started haveing seizures. (grandmal, and minor brain dashavoo) i went to the emergency room 7 times in 6 months, and 4 of those were in the back of an ambulance (when my dad was a firefighter he drove the ambulance alot) so right now, i dont have my drivers lisence, and lost work, because 3 of times i had seizure were at work. ive been on phenytoin, and yes my seizures are under controll, but since my body now needs the medication, ill seize the next day if i forget the pills. these pills gave me angry outburst, super exhaustion, and cause bone lose. so ive been eating alot of yogurt. so right now, im jobless, and cant drive. ive grown Marijuana, yes illagally of cource. i like to smoke, i hate tobacco, makes you sick, dissy, and throw up. if u smoke weed. makes you feel better while sick, could make u dissy, you just high as a kite, and calms your tummy so you throw up. but just wants you too fill it with food, thats good when your sick. keep your water down, so you just throw it back up. now lets get to the point. i live in rock island, my dads house is in bettendorf, what if I want to make a small business (caregiver) and smoke what im growing too, but every thing has to me recorded. for any wronge doing. they strangle the market on who can even go to your small growery. and do you how much it could cost, to buy, high graded seeds from another country, to buy lighing system, all the power if requires to runs those lights for 6 months befor you have a product. these Law makers, love passing a bill that looks good to the people, but realy doesnt help one gram of a bit. just gets them some news time. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/medical-marijuana-street-dealin... so tell me, how can i make a job for myself, in my home, takeing care of plants, so me and my father, can relax and smoke. smokeing really helps me go to sleep also, i always lay in bed for a good hour, just thinking about things. I am a thinker. so what if i became a Dr. and gave people green cards. so they can come to store, that would barely make enough money to stay open. its not a real job unless your going 300 plants, but i bet you can only have 8 plants. then its a hobby, and thats how i see my smokeing. tell me, at candybacon420@Hotmail.com how i can have a hobby that ive already had for the past 2 years. and make a legal taxable income for myself, (note, ive never sold any thing ive grown, because its my weed, why wont i smoke it, instead of spending $100 to some guy on 11st) andrew Van, Dacon out. Ha this site is trying so hard to make it so i cant post.

.

When you post on this site, your comment doesn't always go live until later.  I think the staff reviews some messages before allowing them to post, depending on your prior history or maybe just by default.  I know I had a drunken stupor post that was thankfully deleted, so yeah.

When you post just come check back later, your message isn't always automatically posted right away.  (Though sometimes it is.)

borden's picture

Bob, I think you may have

Bob, I think you may have asked me to delete that post.  :)

what exactly are all the

what exactly are all the conditions for you to be able to get a card?

A victory.. of sorts

Dear Lord, when I read all of those restrictions this bill has.. you'd think marijuana is the most dangerous substance known to man!  I can think of dozens of over the counter medications I could go buy right now tons more dangerous with none of these restrictions or stigmas.  So, yeah.. it's a nice little victory and step in the right direction, but it still sets up said patients to be 3rd rate citizens which disgusts me.

real cannabis

I hope the clinics don`t sell anything that looks like what is in the picture for this article . That " orgo blackberry " looks an awful lot like common Mexican brick weed . You can tell by its flatness . It will get you high , but it ain`t the chronic . A respectable clinic would not offer someone a 1/2 quarter of good Cannabis that has been mashed flat .  Come on , now .

Actually medical weed has

Actually medical weed has been legal in chicago for almost forty years. I found out about it during the democratic national convention in 1998, where I took part in a "legalize it" drug march.

I met about a hundred medical users who were all toking in public with their little licenses to do so. They were laughing because it had been legal for a few decades by then, and they'd all been doing it for years--- but you actually needed a legit doctor to prescribe it for something real.

Which is why the kids today are still trying to legalize medical marijuana in chicago. Hah.

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