It’s official. Illinois just became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. If the legalization wave keeps pushing forward with this momentum, the U.S. will soon be on the brink of complete medical marijuana legalization. This particular measure will go into effect on January 1st, 2014. However, don’t expect medical marijuana legalization to magically come to fruition on that date. Instead, the state will enter a four-year pilot program, which will encompass dispensaries and 22 cultivation centers.
What You Can Do
In previous related articles that were published on Medical Marijuana Blog, we discussed how Illinois would have some of the strictest medical marijuana regulations in the country. Believe it or not, that hasn’t actually changed and the rules are indeed quite strict. For instance, weed is only intended for patients with severe medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cancer and lupus, etc. Patients who do not have an established relationship with their doctor will have problems obtaining medical marijuana. On the other hand, if you are a regular patient that frequents the doctor’s office more than once year, then it’s an entirely different story which ends with pain relief as your doctor will be allowed to prescribe you with up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks.
What You Can’t Do
However, you will not be allowed to grow cannabis at your home, regardless of your medical condition. Cultivation centers that we mentioned above will have 24 hour surveillance, which is not that common with growing centers in other states that have legalized medical marijuana. Illinois has also made sure that only residents with a medical marijuana car will be able to actually buy cannabis. If you’re from another state, don’t go weed shopping in Illinois.
Of course, not everyone is on the same page regarding medical marijuana legalization in Illinois. Some opponents feared that legalization for medical purposes is a gateway tactic that will inevitably lead to legalization of recreational marijuana or even worse – drug abuse. In fact, most opponents from other states are using that fear as their main argument. The authorities feared that this will complicate DUI’s and anti-crime groups protested against 2.5 ounces, saying it’s way too much. We guess they believe marijuana can only be inhaled, rather than digested, in which case you really do need more marijuana.
What Patients Have To Say?
Several patients from Illinois have recently gone public on how medical marijuana changed their lives. Some of them use to take up to 60 pills to control the symptoms of the disease. After using marijuana they have reduced their medication intake by 70%. Marijuana can indeed provide pain relief to those in need and thankfully, patients in Illinois will no longer be treated as criminals.