In Illinois earlier this year the legislature adjourned before a vote was taken on Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act; however, the bill can still be called for a vote during the November veto session, or in January 2011.

The bill’s ponsor, State Representative Lou Lang, says some people, for instance those receiving chemotherapy, should be allowed the pain relief they can only get from medical marijuana. Law enforcement officers, such as Chris Endress, Director of QCMEG, feel differently however and worry that legalizing cannabis will just mean that more ends up on the streets; he says, “If you can yield a $1000 to $5000 profit tax free, per plant, what’s going to stop someone from growing more than they are allowed to and selling it on the street?” He also believes that legalizing cannabis strips away employees’ rights for a drug free workplace.

Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act in Summary

  • This legislation would make a narrow exception to Illinois’ criminal laws to prevent seriously ill patients from being arrested and jailed for the doctor-advised medical use of cannabis.
  • The health department would issue medical cannabis ID cards.
  • A registered patient or caregiver would be allowed no more than 2oz of marijuana and three mature plants
  • To qualify for an ID card, a patient would have to submit to the health department a physician’s written certification that the patient would be likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from cannabis and that the patient has one of the qualifying medical conditions:
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Cancer
    • Glaucoma
    • ALS, hepatitis C
    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • epilepsy
    • nail patella
    • seizures
    • cachexia/wasting syndrome
    • severe and persistent muscle spasms
    • intractable pain that does not respond to other medications
    • severe and debilitating nausea
    • Other conditions can be added by petitioning the Department of Human Services once the Act takes place
  • Patients could obtain their medical cannabis from a state-licensed compassion center.
  • The department of health would set rules on security, record keeping, and oversight.
  • Compassion centers would be subject to inspections, and all of their staff would have to register with the health department and be subject to background checks.
  • Patients who could not get to a compassion center could designate a caregiver to grow their medicine for them.
  • Cannabis would have to be grown in an enclosed, locked area.
  • The bill maintains commonsense restrictions, including prohibitions on public use of cannabis and driving under the influence.
  • Employers would not be required to allow patients to be impaired at work or possess cannabis at a workplace

Medical Marijuana Illinois Voting Guide

Summary of states with pending medical marijuana legislation.


Author Dianne Morgan

More posts by Dianne Morgan

Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • tyler ez says:

    well. most dont know why the marijuana plant was illegalized. back around late 1800s there was alot of southern farmers growing hemp(marijuana) and most of our own gvt. had there money in the wood industries, and there began a penalty for those who grew hemp instead of tobacco and the timber industry. therefore, farmers knew they made more off the hemp plant even if they had to pay the fine. therefore, the hemp plant was illegalized and in about 1942 there was an expirement done by the federal government and they also illegalized the marijuana plant. and the ecuse, that our law enforcement cant tell the difference, then the 50s and 60s came and then there was roumers flying everywhere cuz the vietnam grass obosedly made you have communist thoughts and actions. but all in all hemp is the strongest cultivated fiber, and grows about 10 foot. a typicall sativa or indica, about 5. and at that its just a source of revenue for our govt with the fines, the jailing. and its just coting us money!

  • chris painter says:

    im a resident of illinois i have a debilitating disease called toxoplasmosis i have agonizing headaches ,chronic pain and i might also have glaucoma i need to see a doctor in illinois for a refferal,where can i go my physian will not help me going to chicago to an eye doctor but cant find the cause im in pain please help

  • Just letting you know I’m onboard!

  • kathleen says:

    my father already has a medical license for life in the state of wa but since his health isnt doing so good he is going to be moving to il
    can he still be legal here in the state of il?
    the clinic he goes to in wa says they could mail him his stuff to him here but i am afraid of the laws here and since it aint legal here yet what can we do so he doesnt get in trouble or can he do that i need help thank u

  • Jerry Rees says:

    I had shingles about 6 years ago. The pain from that disease is just plain awful.

    But even worse has been the continued pain in my right ear, where began in the 1st place. Dr. have prescribed various pain medications, which I have only made the problem worse. I have used marijuana on my own and get relief that i have not gotten otherwise.

    But because Illinois does approve medical marijuana, I have used what I have been able to locate on the street. Anyone who believe we are going to control what is available on the streets, keeping medical marijuana from becoming law, is just plain delusional. The law would however, or at least should improve the quality of the drug. heck

  • ruby says:

    I really do hope they legalize it and list more medical conditions. I have migraines, depression, and insomnia.

    I don’t want to take pills for depression because most I’ve seen may cause more depression and who would want that? It’ll be nice to catch some sleep and my migraines to go away. I don’t even know why they made it illegal to have marijuana in the first place if it does good. Fact is that all legal drugs can kill if you overdose while it’s nearly impossible for you to overdose on weed.

    Not only will legalizing it will help patients out but may help with the economy. They wont need to buy it off the streets anymore as they can buy them at the pharmacy and may need to pay half or none if their insurance covers them.Hopefully they don’t look at the cons of weed but more about the pros for those who need it and the economy that we’re in.

  • Jeff says:

    Why can’t your doctor be located in California and you live in Illinois. Many people see doctors in other states and are treated. If I’m prescribed marijuana in Calif I should be able to “use” it here in Illinois.

    The law as I see it is for the purpose of prescribing medical marijuana not for the “use” of it. IF my doctor’s (in Calif.) regiment is to use medical marijuana – then my “use” should not be an issue under law.

  • Allison says:

    First of all, I am registered nurse in Illinois.

    After working with countless patients over the years, I am a firm believer of a person’s right to use marjuana for medical purposes. Don’t get me wrong, I think legalizing marijuana for anything other than for medical purposes is a bad idea. As a patient advocate, it saddens me when I see people suffering from debilitating and incurable diseases. Not only are these people pumped full of pharmaceuticals, but the same drugs used to help them, are also killing them.

    My most recent story comes from a 34 year old female who was diagnosed at 30 years old with breast cancer. She just had a double mastectomy, is undergoing chemotherapy, and found out it spread to her ovaries. Now she said to me one day that she would rather be dead then to suffer from the side effects of chemotherapy. She said to me that the only time she feels any relief is if her friend “sneaks” her some marijuana.

    Now imagine this woman is your sister, mother, daughter, friend. Are you really going to deny someone you love, who is dying, the ability to have a quality of life?

    Obviously by law I document her usage, report it to the physician, and encourage her to not use it. Not by choice, but by the guidelines of being a RN as well as the law.

    I have started a website/social network for medical marijuana patients as well as anyone who is for it.

    It’s a professional, anonymous website, and anything that does not fit into the terms of the website will be removed.

    Please join. Please tell others. If we can come together as ONE voice, we can make small steps towards a big cause.

    Thank you,

    • ray davidson says:

      i found out i had epilepsy for 5 or 6 years now i take 12 pills everyday and they are not helping int the past 3 days i have had 3 seizures and i think maedical marijuana is the best thing for people to slow the seizures.

  • brian says:

    looks like i can’t sign in ? is this a real web site or another way to try an bust someone who can’t even get cannabis ? growing out side – nope too many deer thay will eat it indoor nope the gov will take your house , buy it frm the streets ? nope they don’t sell it here you would have to go to the city an i can’t do that i’am to sick to i have to take 1.00.000 mgs of vit d my bones will break i keep having to have inplants , an i’am on enough morphine it would kill a normal person….

  • brian says:

    oh yea i forgot to say the drug marinol one can get in any drug store but it’s made wrong , there’s a better way it can be made

  • brian says:

    i would be glad to stop taking morphine ect for cannabis , the way the system is right now is all wrong even the name marijuana is wrong that name is a wild tobacco plant , if this weed cannabis just came out of the jungle every one would think otherwise it started wt h,anslinger’s lie + i have to add the # 1 gateway drug is that can of beer that the kids seen in the fridge ,more…..the weed should be made into a pill form like vit* e oil in a gel cap !

  • Jon says:

    I am a partial amputee, suffer from a spinal cord injury and have severe muscle spasms all stemming from an accident several years ago.

    I am on all kinds of pills to keep the nerve pain & muscle spasms keeping me from laying on the couch all day hurting. Those same pills also give me severe nausea and I’m sure they are destroying my liver.

    Med Marijuana would take care of about 75% of the pain that I have which the other 25% could then be supplemented by pills and help to reduce the nausea as well as to keep my liver from becoming severely effected.

    If they could just legalize this I would be so much better off and could keep my job as well as not worry about being arrested. Its too bad I have to suffer in order to properly provide for my family.

  • I believe in legalizing medical marijuana says:

    I believe in legalizing medical marijuana.I have aggressive rheumatiod arthritis that has left me disabled only a year after diagnosis.It could also help our ailing economy. Please listen to the people and legalize medical marijuana.

  • Jackie says:

    Please legalize med mj in il.

    I suffer from debilitating nausea, malnutrition, fibromyalgia, and several other conditions. Mj is the only thing that helps me eat and keep the food down. I recently moved from il to another state, due to public housing availability, no med mj here, i ran out, don’t know anyone here to get it.

    I have been laying here in bed for 3 days now, unable to keep any food down and very little fluids. I’m hoping one of my friends from back home can get here soon with my mj. I’m afraid my kidneys are going to dry up before i can get some thc in my system.

    Please, please legalize my medicine. It’s not a joke. It is a very, very necessary medicine. Please. I know i’m stupid for letting myself run out, but i thought someone from home would be here with more by now, but they haven’t been able to get here yet. I have to rest now. I feel like i’m going to vomit, but i know it will just be dry heaves. This is no way to live.

  • Jeremy Puent says:

    I was diagnosed with bi-polar in 2003.

    I eliminated several drugs:Lexapro,Depakote,Lorenzepan,Ambian,and a anti-psych. All theese have terrible side affects that actually cause suicidal thoughts in people. Side affects of cannabis: hungry,happy,sleepy all very imortant to being healthy through a debilitating mental disorder. Sleep is essential to lower cycling and controling your moods. Also i have three children and if they got a hold of any of these pills death is a definite possibility.

  • joe watchowski says:

    I am a 45 y.o.a. male,with polycystic kidney disease. Since having a stint placed in my heart valve, i have been prescribed morphine [60mg].[40mg]of oxycotton,and percocet 1000mgs, each are taken several times daily, if medical marijuana were legal in illinois i could limit or replace the narcotics with med. marijuana since i will need a kidney transplant within 6 months i hope our polititions take the steps needed to help society and limit the use of narcotics and legalize medical marijuana.

  • Jake says:

    bill brady will not legalize it

  • Edwin Gorgas says:

    Hi I have diabetis and sufer nuropatic pain. I can tell you that it helps me with tha pain. I am taking Lirica 200mm three a day and Avinsa (morfin 60mm) and it helps but when i can tack some THC it is much beter.

  • Mr. Endress needs to look at research.

    Anyone who is willing to allow the dieing and sick to suffer because of personal interests should not be in a position of authority.

    The facts are, that marijuana is safer than Alcohol or cigarettes. It is safer and works better than many of the chemical medications that it replaces, and it is a fact that it is easier for children to get an unregulated bag of marijuana than a regulated bottle of Jack Daniels.

    Everyday, people try to obtain prescriptions for loritab, percocet and other medications when they have no medical need. They are just wanting to get high. That is going to be the nature of the game, but unlike these drugs, there has never been a recorded case of someone dieing from the consumption of marijuana.

    I use marijuana for medicinal reasons. It has replaced Percocet, Vallium, Robaxin and about 5 other medications, I feel better and I do not suffer from the depression and other effects associated with those drugs.

    I have a 14 year old son, and if he is going to steal my medication for the purpose of getting high, I would much rather him steal my marijuana than my Percocet. At least I know that the consumption of the marijuana will not kill him, I can not say that about the consumption of Percocet.

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