Illinois Medical Marijuana Update

illinois_01Just recently, a bunch of lawmakers in the Senate approved of a medical marijuana legislation in Illinois that basically allows patients with certain medical conditions to rely on medical marijuana in order to ease their pain. The Senate Executive Committee wasn’t unanimous on the decision as the votes were 10-5 in favor of the legislations. Law officials main problem with this bill is that it would not regulate DUI’s specifically related to marijuana. Governor Quinn shared his nod of approval when asked about the bill; however he stated it would be best to proceed with caution and inspect the matter more thoroughly.

What Does The Bill Allow?

Interestingly enough, this bill is quite specific and it would basically serve as the basis for starting a 4 year medical marijuana program in Illinois. Patients would be evaluated, examined and if applicable, prescribed with an appropriate strain of medical marijuana. The patient would be allowed to carry 2.5 ounces of cannabis and he would be able to obtain weed from either one of the 60 dispensaries located throughout the state. However, what the bill doesn’t allow is cultivation of marijuana. We presume Illinois is a bit scared that people might start to grow marijuana all over the place, pulling the profit out of the dispensaries and into their own pockets.

Currently, this bill is the strictest in the country. That means Maryland will have to push extra hard to make their bill the toughest in the U.S. as they previously announced. The former State’s Attorney said that the bill should is in no way paving the path of marijuana legalization for recreational use. On the other hand, medical marijuana opponents stated that they acknowledge the beneficial effects of medical marijuana but are afraid it might increase criminal offenses.

What Are The Concerns?

Despite an all around general consensus that medical marijuana basically saves lives, it seems that the Chiefs of Police is not all that convinced. Their biggest concern is the misuse of medical marijuana and its relation to DUI. They mentioned a hypothetical situation in which someone with a medical marijuana card takes a few marijuana puffs and sits behind the wheel. What then? Well, for one, people driving under the influence of marijuana already have their fines cut out for them but we guess in this case – the law should be a bit more lenient towards medical marijuana users, because some of them can’t move without taking a few puffs, let alone drive a car. Therefore, don’t necessarily punish medical marijuana patients when for most of them marijuana really is a performance enhancing drug.

However, according to some, and hopefully there aren’t many of them, there have been a number of complaints because the bill doesn’t regulate DUI’s even though taking urine and blood samples would quickly determine who is on which drug at any given moment. Still, placing medical marijuana patients in the same grade as your average Joe who likes to puff away every now and then seems a bit unfair, doesn’t it?

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