Illinois takes steps toward legalized medical marijuana

2013-10-01T03:00:00Z 2015-01-26T17:23:44Z Illinois takes steps toward legalized medical marijuanaBy Kurt Erickson The Southern Springfield Bureau The Southern

SPRINGFIELD — State officials have launched what could be a lengthy process of setting up a system that will allow sick people to legally purchase Illinois-grown pot for medicinal reasons.

Officials in at least four state agencies are beginning to meet to discuss what role they’ll have in drafting rules governing the state’s new marijuana law. The goal is to take a final version to lawmakers by May.

This summer, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act permits the use of marijuana by patients with serious medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Lupus and and other serious and painful ailments.

The sponsor of the law, state Rep. Lou Lang,

D-Skokie, said he hopes the agencies can issue a draft of their rules before the May deadline.

“I know I’ve laid some difficult tasks on their plates,” Lang said. “I’m just pleased that they’re meeting now.”

Mike Claffey, a spokesman for Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration, said there have been several meetings already.

“All agencies tasked with implementation are reviewing Illinois and other states’ laws to ensure a successful Illinois program that avoids some of the pitfalls and challenges faced by other medical cannabis programs,” he said in a statement.

At the Illinois Department of Public Health, officials are investigating how the agency will oversee the patient and doctor aspects of the law.

For example, after a patient is certified by a doctor, the patient will then send a copy of that certification to Public Health. The agency would then verify the information and issue an identification card. A patient could not purchase cannabis without the card.

The growing and harvesting of marijuana also would be regulated. The Illinois Department of Agriculture would have to review plans of prospective growers. The agency also will have to select one facility in each of the 22 Illinois State Police districts where growing could be done.

The growing facilities would have 24-hour surveillance and would be under strict rules to regulate their inventories. Once the program is under way, the agency is required to conduct weekly inspections on each of the 22 growers.

Growers and dispensary employees also would have to undergo criminal background checks.

At the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, employees have begun meeting to discuss how the agency will regulate the 60 dispensaries that will be distributing the marijuana.

The agency plans to hire an employee to oversee the new division but likely will use an existing template to license and regulate the dispensaries.

“We already license pharmacies, so we expect this will be very similar,” said spokeswoman Sue Hofer.

Once each agency has put together their piece of the regulatory puzzle, draft rules will be circulated in an effort to compile a final version within 120 days of the law going into effect on Jan. 1.

The rules will then be submitted to a special panel of lawmakers. Once approved on that level, the agencies will begin setting up the system allowing the agencies to begin licensing growers, dispensers and users.

In the end, it could be the summer of 2014 before ill people will be able to legally purchase cannabis in Illinois.

“I hope this moves faster in order to help the people this law was designed to help,” Lang said.


Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(22) Comments

  1. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 03, 2013 10:34 pm
    Seriously Chicken Little one, you went from "scientific talk" to " poopy pants"? Oh My God!!
  2. Jude66
    Report Abuse
    Jude66 - October 03, 2013 10:08 pm
    Yep....follow the money Chicken Little your comment aren't worth my time to educate you.....BTW...I don't smoke or ingest Marijuanna in anyway....tried it once as a teen...actually enjoyed a nap. CURSES TO ME!!!!! when you educate yourself on it i will "grace" you with my knowledge. Until then... AT EASE GOMER!!!!!
  3. BossIlluminati
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    BossIlluminati - October 02, 2013 11:20 am
    don't worry, states like mine have always made sure medicine is available...

    we will find a way to get it to you
  4. BossIlluminati
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    BossIlluminati - October 02, 2013 11:18 am
    it might...that's the hope and signs are incredibly positive....

    but the medical community doesn't want you to know this

    cancer is the cash cow
  5. BossIlluminati
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    BossIlluminati - October 02, 2013 11:17 am
    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING...

    hundreds of thousands die every year from alcohol and tobacco, every year!!! 0 have ever died from marijuana...cannabis is about to revolutionize the world....LOVE and FREEDOM, cali4life


    ....only 20 years behind us, that's not too bad, you could be a southern state
  6. chicken1
    Report Abuse
    chicken1 - October 02, 2013 12:36 am
    Im sure you do know a "pothead" or two. Maybe you just drank too much oil to realize it.

    I take my marijuana in suppository. Thats why my finger is up my butt. Its a medical thang. You should try it. Its kinda nice!

    Im sure your evidence is more anecdotal than scientific.

    I maybe a moron but your a stupid poopy pants!
  7. Jude66
    Report Abuse
    Jude66 - October 02, 2013 12:19 am
    Hey Chicken 1 are living up to your name!!! FYI
  8. chicken1
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    chicken1 - October 01, 2013 11:53 pm
    By your reasoning all the doctors and scientists at the drug manufacturers are stupid also. After all, the drug companies would only be making billions off a pill derived from marijuana that cures dozens of diseases that modern medicine hasnt been able to do. They would alzo be funding law enforcement to destroy any plants found as well as lobbying to stop the medical use/dispensary systems in place because it cuts into profits. If you cant educate yourself then at least try following the money. If you cant do that then maybe you are suffering from reefer madness and require marinuana oil for treatment. Moron!
  9. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 10:37 pm
    Phoenix Tears : Run from the cure!!
  10. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 10:28 pm
    Ok.....all the people who have commented about scientific "research" and "based on readings in medical journals" VISIT an actual person this has CURED. Quit being "blinded" by your readings and get involved with actual patients. It will SMACK you awake!!! I'm done ...again I say .."YA CANT FIX STUPID"..... I can NOT respect your uneducated opinion! Well, because your not educated on this matter! Enough said for me!
  11. MMike
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    MMike - October 01, 2013 10:05 pm
    Not quite. The research did not study the effect of marijuana use by children with autism. The studies look at certain neural pathways that are abnormal in autism patients and how some chemicals that can be extracted from marijuana affect these pathways in mice. Maybe someday this work will lead to news treatments in humans. But people should not let their autistic children smoke pot. It is interesting work.

  12. MMike
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    MMike - October 01, 2013 9:52 pm
    Marijuana has not been shown to cure cancer. Some compounds in marijuana might be useful in cancer treatments someday. But it would be very foolish to avoid recommended treatments. A patient might ask their doctor if any cannabinoid based medications would be helpful as part of their treatment.

    Cancer is very tricky. Many cancers can go into remission spontaneously. People may think that some novel treatment was the cause, stop other treatments, and then pay a very high price later.

  13. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 9:36 pm
    Absolutely Autism along with thousands of other diseases! Cannabis oil!
  14. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - October 01, 2013 9:15 pm
    Some studies also shows there is a positive effect on children with autism.
  15. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 8:49 pm
    Yes the THC is a pain killer but, THC and CBD are the two components in cannabis that cure. I have seen (first hand) cancer cells killed in 5 patients, 2 LUKEMIA patients in remission, 1 CROHNS patient cured, 2 Lou Gehrig disease patients where the disease was stopped dead in its tracks. These other people who have commented are not educated on its healing properties, they would rather call any one who uses it a "pothead." They aren't smart enough to know that smoking cannabis is not the only way to ingest it. Cannabis oil is the best concentrated way. Perfect example of not being able to fix stupid!
  16. Jude66
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    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 8:33 pm
    Poor misinformed moron. I have NOT gotten any of my scientific evidence from "potheads"nor do I know any "potheads." Why don't you get your finger out of your butt and do your OWN research as I have. When you realize how wrong you are? No apologies necessary . I forgive stupid people who would rather read and believe anything shoved in their face rather than actually witness millions of people being cured. Yes....I HAVE SEEN IT AND LIVED IT. But hey, go run and do Chemo and Radiation when YOU have the deadly disease. Best Wishes
  17. MMike
    Report Abuse
    MMike - October 01, 2013 7:24 pm
    Here are two studies.

    Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jul 10;166(13):1359-67.
    The association between marijuana smoking and lung cancer: a systematic review.
    Mehra R, Moore BA, Crothers K, Tetrault J, Fiellin DA.
    Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-6003, USA.

    Nineteen studies met selection criteria. Studies that examined lung cancer risk factors or premalignant changes in the lung found an association of marijuana smoking with increased tar exposure, alveolar macrophage tumoricidal dysfunction, increased oxidative stress, and bronchial mucosal histopathologic abnormalities compared with tobacco smokers or nonsmoking controls. Observational studies of subjects with marijuana exposure failed to demonstrate significant associations between marijuana smoking and lung cancer after adjusting for tobacco use. The primary methodologic deficiencies noted include selection bias, small sample size, limited generalizability, overall young participant age precluding sufficient lag time for lung cancer outcome identification, and lack of adjustment for tobacco smoking.
    Given the prevalence of marijuana smoking and studies predominantly supporting biological plausibility of an association of marijuana smoking with lung cancer on the basis of molecular, cellular, and histopathologic findings, physicians should advise patients regarding potential adverse health outcomes until further rigorous studies are performed that permit definitive conclusions.

    Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors
    Janet R. Daling PhD1,2,†,*, David R. Doody MS1, Xiaofei Sun BS3, Britton L. Trabert MS, MSPH1,2, Noel S. Weiss MD, DrPH1,2, Chu Chen PhD1,2, Mary L. Biggs PhD1,4, Jacqueline R. Starr PhD1,2,5, Sudhansu K. Dey PhD6, Stephen M. Schwartz PhD1,2
    Article first published online: 9 FEB 2009
    DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24159

    Men with a TGCT were more likely to be current marijuana smokers at the reference date compared with controls (odds ratio [OR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.1-2.5). In analyses according to histologic type, most of the association between current marijuana use and TGCT was observed in men who had nonseminomas/mixed histology tumors (current use: OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3-4.0). Age at first use among current users (age <18 years [OR, 2.8] vs age ≥18 years [OR, 1.3]) and frequency of use (daily or weekly [OR, 3.0] vs less than once per week [OR, 1.8]) appeared to modify the risk.

    An association was observed between marijuana use and the occurrence of nonseminoma TGCTs. Additional studies of TGCTs will be needed to test this hypothesis, including molecular analyses of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid signaling, which may provide clues regarding the biologic mechanisms of TGCTs.
  18. Delray
    Report Abuse
    Delray - October 01, 2013 6:33 pm
    Their is no tar in pot it is THC it does not cause cancer nobody has ever died or become ill from pot it is a great pain killer.
  19. chicken1
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    chicken1 - October 01, 2013 6:11 pm
    Just like concealed carry. Innocent people are being attacked and shot every day and not allowed to defend themselves.
  20. chicken1
    Report Abuse
    chicken1 - October 01, 2013 6:08 pm
    You must be getting your info from pot heads. Marijuana DOES NOT CURE cancer. It does help to ease the side effects of the disease and the treatments. Marijuana contains more tar than a comparable amount of tobacco as well as at least 50 known carcinogens. (That means cancer causing bad stuff.) In addition to the added tar, the smoke is held before exhaling an average of 5X longer allowing more exposure to the bad elements in it. You can fond this information on the University of Washington website or search marijuana-smoke-tar. Although i dont smoke it i am for the medical use of marijuana. I would also be for the complete legalization if there was a test to determine levels of impairment just like alcohol. If you cant drink on the job or while drivind you shouldnt be high either. Thats my opinoin.
    If the dope heads can put all the effort and science into making stronger, longer, flavored etc. Dope then surely they could spend time doing some research and get the correct info to the government and the masses. Unfortunately the biggest side effect is laziness about the issue on the side of the smokers. From my experience its hard to make an intelligent argument while smoking a bowl.
  21. Jude66
    Report Abuse
    Jude66 - October 01, 2013 3:24 pm
    Well Hooray Illinois!! Quite nice of our govern(mental) system to allow people to use an herb that has been growing wild since the beginning of time and all along knowing the healing properties cannabis has. I wonder how many will die of Cancer/ALS and other serious diseases while were waiting for some gooftard to pick up a pen and sign. But they have to take their time and make sure every T is crossed so that they can make a profit. Sickening! The Government doesn't make any money if our society was disease free. Think about it people: It ...has...been...proven...that ...Cannabis(an herb) well as many other diseases. Not "possibly" ...PROVEN!! So now the government steps in? That's mighty noble of the Morons!
  22. RCALS
    Report Abuse
    RCALS - October 01, 2013 11:59 am
    I have mixed emotions about this article. I'm happy that medical marijuana will be legalized, but am furious that it won't be available for another year. Why haven't the legalities been worked out already so that it could be available by Jan. 1? I have ALS and may not have a year! As I'm sure is the same for many others. Why should we have to wait?
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