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SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) – Legislation that would allow minors and those with epilepsy to use medical cannabis in Illinois is one step closer to law.
 
A Senate committee passed the proposal on Tuesday without opposition.
 
State Sen. Iris Martinez is sponsoring the measure. The Democrat from Chicago says using medical marijuana improves the quality of life for minors suffering from epilepsy.
 
Supporters say consuming oil from the marijuana plant reduces seizures and doesn’t get children high. They say traditional epilepsy medicines are addictive and leave children feeling “stoned.”
 
Opponents say they’re against any measure legalizing marijuana use because it violates federal law. They also say legalizing marijuana for minors contradicts drug prevention programs.
 
The measure amending Illinois’ four-year medical cannabis pilot program now moves to the Senate floor.
Published in Local News

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Law and order may soon be coming to the Wild West of weed.

A California lawmaker has introduced legislation to regulate the state's free-wheeling medical marijuana industry — the farmers that grow the drug, the hundreds of storefront shops that sell it and the doctors who write recommendations allowing its use.

The bill marks a milestone not only because it would provide significant state oversight of the multi-billion dollar industry for the first time, but because it is likely to get serious consideration in Sacramento after years of inaction.

It is the brainchild of the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities, politically influential groups that have stood in the way of efforts to legitimize pot growers and dispensaries by subjecting them to state control and taxation.

Published in National News
   People in Illinois who want to use medical marijuana would have to be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 a year for a special photo ID.  That's if the state health department's proposed regulations are adopted.  
   The nearly 50 page Draft DPH Medical Cannabis regulation document is now online, opening an informal public comment period.  
   Medical marijuana supporters are reacting to the proposed regulations unveiled Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
   Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington says the annual fee is burdensome for patients. He says states like Michigan charge less and generate big surpluses.
   But he applauds Illinois for proposing an advisory board to review petitions for adding medical conditions to the list approved for marijuana.
   Jim Champion is an Illinois veteran with multiple sclerosis. He says he's concerned that patients and caregivers can't get medical marijuana cards if they have firearm owners ID cards because of state and federal laws.
 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - State regulators allege a doctor misled potential patients by offering "pre-approval" for medical marijuana through a Chicago clinic.
 
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed a complaint Monday against Dr. Brian Murray, who has an active medical license, and a co-worker. Murray has been charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and faces revocation of his license.
 
The general manager with Good Intentions clinic said Tuesday that the allegations are baseless and anti-patient.
 
Illinois legalized medical marijuana this year. The law takes effect in January but medical marijuana won't be available for months as rules are worked out. The law says patients must have a serious medical condition and an established doctor relationship.
 
The complaint alleges the clinic offered potential patients early approval for a $99 registration fee.
 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Sick military veterans who want medical marijuana would get it more easily under legislation that's getting committee approval.

The House Judiciary Committee sent Rep. Lou Lang's bill to the floor for consideration.

The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of Illinois' first law legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed it in August.

But it requires a sick person to get a letter from a doctor. Veterans home doctors are federal employees - barred from approving cannabis use.

Lang's legislation would allow veterans to get a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health certifying he or she has a condition that qualifies for marijuana treatment under the law.

The committee voted 10-6 to move the bill to the House floor.

 

Published in Local News

   Several St. Peters residents are calling for their alderman to resign after he was charged with marijuana possession.  Alderman Tommy Roberts was charged after St. Peters police found marijuana in his home August 7th.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about a half-dozen residents called for Roberts resignation at Thursday night's meeting of the Board of Aldermen.  None of the aldermen responded to the comments last night.  

   Roberts, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, said shortly after his arrest that the marijuana possession was "a medical issue."

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - A seriously ill woman who'd lobbied to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois won't be eligible to get it herself because of a drug charge.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Michelle DiGiacomo won't be able to get the medicinal marijuana under the new bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last month. She suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal stenosis, among other things, and had been using marijuana for pain relief.

DiGiacomo got a license to buy medical marijuana in California, where it's legal. But it was still illegal in Illinois.

The 53-year-old Chicago woman was arrested in 2012 for having marijuana in her possession. She pleaded guilty to felony possession, months before Quinn signed the bill into law.

The drug charge disqualifies her from getting medical marijuana in Illinois.

 

Published in Local News

Medical Marijuana is officially legal in Illinois. With his signature, Governor Pat Quinn kicked off a pilot program that allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with some chronic diseases.

It is one of the most restrictive programs in nation--requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks and limiting patients to purchasing 2 and-a-half ounces of marijuana at a time. A network of dispensaries and growers will be regulated by the state. 

The medical marijuana will be taxed at the same 1% rate as other pharmaceuticals. There will also be a tax on grow facilities and dispensaries of 7%. The planned 22 grow facilities will each hire no more than 10 employees. The state of Illinois expects hundreds of new jobs in related industries to be created.

The new law also bans campaign contributions from operators of cultivation centers and dispensaries.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2014 and is a four-year pilot program.

 

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - If Illinois becomes the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana, experts say there may be scores of legal questions for businesses.

Crain's Chicago Business reports the bill that was approved by lawmakers in Springfield is prompting questions from observers.

The measure, which is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, is being billed as the strictest in the nation. It's not clear if Quinn will sign it.

The measure's sponsor says there'd be minimal impact on employers with a zero-tolerance drug policy.

But critics say there could be legal issues related to hiring and firing workers who test positive for the drug or show up to work while they're impaired.

 

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Medical marijuana use in Illinois is now in Gov. Pat Quinn's hands after the state Senate approved legislation.

Lawmakers voted 35-21 Friday to send the measure to Quinn for final approval. Quinn hasn't signaled whether he will sign it into law.

The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the 33 illnesses listed in the bill.

The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks.

Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs. Opponents say the program could encourage the recreational use of marijuana especially among teenagers.

Published in Local News
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