SUMMARY: After almost ten years of work by the Marijuana Policy Project and Illinois State legislators, on August 1, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 1 into law, which enables Illinois doctors to recommend the use of cannabis to patients who suffer from symptoms of various qualifying medical conditions. The new law is entitled the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act” and it’s called a “Pilot Program Act” because it will cease to exist in four years unless the Illinois State Legislature renews the program or enacts a new state law regarding the use of medical marijuana.
Under the new
law, Illinois patients under a physician’s care for one or more
of over thirty qualified medical conditions, will be able to
register with the State’s Department of Public Health, which
will provide them with written certification of their legal status
as a medical marijuana patient.
are the debilitating conditions that qualify for medical use of
cannabis under the new law and the State’s Department of Health
will be able to approve additional medical conditions in the
Hepatitis C, glaucoma, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s
disease or agitation thereof, Muscular Dystrophy, Fibromyalgia,
Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis,
cachexia/wasting syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
spinal cord disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury,
post-concussion syndrome, hydromyelia, Tarlov cysts,
syringomyelia, spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), Arnold Chiari
malformation, myoclonus, Aremyoclonus, dystonia, causalgia, CRPS,
reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), neurofibromatosis, Sjogren’s
syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy,
Lupus, myasthenia gravis, interstitial cystitis, nail patella
syndrome, hydrocephalus and residual limb pain, or the treatment
of any of these conditions.
qualify for use of medical cannabis are also afforded protection
under the law from being arrested, charged, prosecuted or facing
any criminal or other penalties, including forfeiture of property,
for using medical marijuana in compliance with the law.
It also protects patients from discrimination in obtaining
medical care (including transplants) and protects parents who are
patients in child custody matters. Landlords cannot refuse to rent property to qualified
patients based solely on the person’s status as a registered
patient (or caregiver) unless housing the patient violates a
federal law. Landlords may, however, ban smoking of marijuana on their
employers are prohibited from discriminating against a qualified
patient unless federal law imposes restrictions thereon and
employers may continue to not allow employees to possess and/or
smoke marijuana while at work or to work while under the influence
of marijuana, thereby continuing to enforce a drug-free workplace.
Illinois Medical Marijuana Statistics: