Amanda Vinicky

As Illinois begins to allow people with certain diseases to use cannabis as medicine, the state will be running afoul of federal law.

It may be spring before patients will be able to buy medical marijuana (the application process is going on now). Whenever it happens, the state will be in tricky territory: the federal government classifies marijuana as an illegal drug.

That raises challenges, like: can an business in the cannabis industry deposit money in federally-regulated banks?

St. John's new CEO says the Springfield hospital will face many challenges as a result of the Affordable Care Act ... like changes in Medicare reimbursement -- which now rewards keeping patients out of hospitals.

Dr. Charles Lucore's appointment was announced Thursday.

Glitches can be expected when 42 million people become eligible for a government-subsidized prescription drug program. So no one was surprised that there were plenty as the new national effort got under way. 

Illinois officials, in fact, expected some snags as it cast an additional safety net to help the poorest seniors and disabled people pay for their drugs. Despite the best intentions, however, the state hit some unexpected snarls, too. And more knots are sure to surface as the state and federal drug programs are reshaped.

Margaret Crane, a farm manager for most of her working years, comes from hardy stock and never expected to need much medicine. But the 65-year-old east central Illinois woman now takes seven pills each day just to help control her epilepsy. That’s on top of the medication she takes for a range of ailments that include chronic pain in one foot, which had to be reattached after she was in a car accident several years ago.