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.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Lottery is allowing people who have a gambling problem to voluntarily ban themselves for life.
People who participate will be prohibited from claiming winnings of $600 or more. The option started Thursday, and officials say it is modeled after self-exclusion programs in Illinois, Iowa and Maryland.
Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon says the $600 figure was chosen because lottery winnings of that amount or more are claimed at one of the lottery's regional offices. She says enforcement at 5,000 retail locations would be impossible.
To enact a self-ban, people will sign, notarize and submit an agreement to the Missouri Lottery. Officials will keep a database to be checked when someone comes to claim a prize. Those who have banned themselves will be denied payment.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Fair attendees will be seeing new features as well as old-standbys at the 10-day event that begins Aug. 8.
The fried novelty of the year will be Oreo cookies encased in cookie dough and battered and then deep-fried.
Spokesman Jeff Squibb says the fair's $5.5 million operations budget increased slightly compared to last year. Admission prices will stay flat, with adults paying $7 and $3 for children.
The Budweiser Clydesdales are a new daily presence at the fair, with a daily parade at 4 p.m.
The music series lineup includes evening performances by Toby Keith and Kip Moore, Ke$ha, John Mayer and Journey.
Attendees are encouraged to record videos reciting the Gettysburg Address to help celebrate the fair's 150th anniversary.
The fair runs through Aug. 18.