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Illinois Becomes 20th Medical Marijuana State


Illinois medical marijuana by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn this morning signed legislation (HB 01) into law making Illinois the 20th state to authorize the physician-recommended use of cannabis for qualified patients. (View numerous pictures of today’s bill signing ceremony from Illinois NORML here.)

The new law establishes a statewide, four-year pilot program regulating the production, distribution, and possession of medical cannabis. The program creates up to 22 state-licensed cannabis cultivation centers and up to 60 state-licensed dispensaries. Qualified patients participating in the program must have a preexisting relationship with their physician prior to receiving a recommendation for cannabis therapy. Patients diagnosed with one of approximately 40 qualifying conditions — including cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease — will be permitted to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14-day period. Under the law, patients must obtain cannabis only from a state-licensed facility.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2014. State regulators have 120-days following the bill’s enactment to file program rules and regulations with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC now have licensed medical cannabis dispensaries up and running. (California dispensaries are not licensed by the state.) Similar dispensary outlets are in the process of opening in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada and New Hampshire. Legislation in Oregon to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries awaits action from the governor.

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  1. This is great news! I recently wrote a research paper on medical marijuana and it’s medicinal purposes and thought I’d share it here:

    The main and fundamental reason medical Marijuana’s stigma is so unfortunate is because there is actual scientific research that proves it possesses medicinal qualities, especially when it comes to cancer and cancer related tumors. Scientists who conducted research at Harvard University decided to test THC in mice studies as well as lab studies and came up with some very astounding results. Their collective research showed that THC can and will trigger receptors (which are naturally produced) to fight off lung cancer. These findings also showed that these receptors could eventually be used to treat lung cancer (“EndAllDisease.com”). Yet another study recently conducted in England, has
    yielded that the tumors of mice injected with THC have been reduced (both in size and weight) by 50 percent. In conclusion, it is important to restate the fact that there is ample scientific research proving that Marijuana undoubtedly possesses medicinal qualities, not just for cancer but also for a range of other serious, painful diseases – diseases that, in the past have often been referred to as incurable. This knowledge, along with the fact that Marijuana has been used in medicinally renowned places such as China and India for medical purposes should ultimately be enough evidence to eventually
    sway the government and the DEA’s harsh opinions of the Marijuana plant and
    it’s properties. Especially when combined with further research that will
    undoubtedly provide even more proof of its beneficial properties.

  2. 40% of the states in the US have medical cannabis, now. Makes me wonder how many people have access. Thankfully, that’s checkable information.

    State Population
    Alaska 731,449
    Arizona 6,553,255
    California 38,041,430
    Colorado 5,187,582
    Connecticut 3,590,347
    Deleware 917,092
    Hawaii 1,392,313
    Illinois 12,875,255
    Maine 1,329,192
    Massachusetts 6,646,144
    Michigan 9,883,360
    Montana 1,005,141
    Nevada 2,758,931
    New Hampshire 1,320,718
    New Jersey 8,864,590
    New Mexico 2,085,538
    Oregon 3,899,353
    Rhode Island 1,050,292 (more than Alaska!)
    Vermont 626,011
    Washington 6,897,012
    and DC 632,323

    TOTAL — 116,287,328 have access to cannabis as a medicine.
    Only about 197,626,712 to go.

    Oh, and my best 2014 wagers are Florida (19,317,568), New York (19,570,261), and Ohio (11,544,225). That would bring the total to 166,719,412 — more than half the total population of the United States. That’s a pretty good numerical tipping point, IMHO.

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