Officials say dispensaries in Illinois could start providing medical marijuana early next year . Prospective patients say that's not soon enough.
At a public hearing in Springfield, those seeking marijuana for medical needs argued the rule making process needs to speed up. Illinois lawmakers voted last year to allow cannabis for certain health conditions. Since then, the state has been planning how the program will work. Robert Morgan, an attorney with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the agency wants to get it right.
Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) listens as Adam Frederick testifies on behalf of his daughter, Michaela (pictured in Frederick's hand), who uses cannabis oil to control her seizures. Lang was the original architect of the medical marijuana law passed last spring.
Illinois health officials are planning two public hearings on proposed rules affecting patients who want to use medical marijuana.
The state's medical marijuana program is a four-year pilot project. The rules under consideration affect how adult patients with specific health conditions will be able to buy marijuana.
Hearings will be held in Chicago and Springfield. The Chicago hearing will be at the Thompson Center starting at 9:30 a.m. May 5. The Springfield hearing will be on the University of Illinois Springfield campus at 9 a.m. May 21.
People who buy medical marijuana in Illinois might find out it's cash-only.
Lawmakers approved using cannabis for medical conditions last summer. But the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports selling and using marijuana remain federal offenses, so it's unlikely pot dispensaries will be able to open a bank account or get a line of credit.
Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a measure that makes Illinois the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. But how long until it actually goes into effect? And what sort of restrictions will there be for patients hopeful to gain a prescription to the drug? WUIS's statehouse reporter Brian Mackey recently discussed the news with us:
CHICAGO (AP)- Illinois has become the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law today at a new University of Chicago medical facility.
Illinois' law takes effect Jan. 1, but it'll take several months before medical marijuana will be available for purchase. The measure outlines a four-year pilot program for patients suffering from more than 30 serious illnesses or diseases.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign legislation making the state the 20th in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana.
His remarks Thursday will focus on providing relief to the seriously ill, including veterans.
The Chicago Democrat will also tout the legislation's strict standards, which experts say are among the nation's toughest. That's according to a copy of details obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Could Illinois be getting closer to legalizing the medical use of marijuana? Dan Riffle is with the Marijuana Policy Project, which has lobbied state lawmakers to approve the law. He was a guest on WUIS’ Illinois Edition with Sean Crawford.