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Illinois House Passes Nation’s Most-Restrictive Medical Marijuana Bill


Illinois medical marijuana hb 1The Illinois House just voted 61-57 to pass the nation’s strictest medical marijuana bill.  The measure, House Bill 1, would establish a “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program” that would last three years and would make Illinois the nineteenth state to legalize the use of limited amounts of marijuana under strict medical conditions.

Illinois’ bill was written carefully to appease lawmakers concerned about perceived abuses of medical marijuana in other states.  Dan Riffle, Deputy Director of the Marijuana Policy Project which crafted the legislation, told CBS Chicago, “Unlike California, you’re not going to be able to doctor shop. You’re not going to be able to walk into an office, pay $100, and leave five minutes later with a recommendation.”

According to the bill, which now moves on to the Illinois Senate, qualifying patients would be allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana purchased from a dispensary within a 14-day period (though a doctor can write a waiver for a greater amount on a case-by-case basis).

Patients will not be able to qualify under generalized conditions such as “chronic pain” or “severe nausea” as in other medical marijuana states.  The qualifying condition list includes only the very specific diagnoses of:

cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, including but not limited to arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibrous dysplasia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Myoclonus, Dystonia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I), Causalgia, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II), Neurofibromatosis, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Sjogren’s syndrome, Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, Hydrocephalus, nail-patella syndrome, residual limb pain, or the treatment of these conditions;

Other details include:

  1. Patients will not be allowed to cultivate their own plants.
  2. Patients must register which dispensary they will get cannabis from.
  3. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old and can only assist one patient.
  4. Caregivers can’t have any drug felonies, unless it was growing a small amount of pot for medical uses.
  5. Patients cannot use their medical cannabis “knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under the age of 18 years of age.”
  6. Doctors can have nothing to do with dispensaries and vice versa (even recommendations).
  7. Patients are protected from discrimination in organ transplants and child custody.
  8. Patients are somewhat protected from employment, education, and housing for being patients, but their use of medical cannabis can be restricted or denied, and employers can still use dirty urine tests to fire patients.
  9. No children (under age 18) can be patients.
  10. Police must have 24-hour “real-time” access to any and all video security at cultivation centers.
  11. Cultivation centers must by almost a half-mile (2,500′) from schools, day cares, and residences.
  12. Cultivation centers sell only to dispensaries – there is no “small grower” system.
  13. Dispensaries must be 1,000 feet from schools and day cares and cannot be in residential areas.
  14. Dispensaries chall keep detailed records of purchases by patients to ensure none get more than 2.5 ounces per two-week peroid.
  15. Police can randomly inspect the premises and records of dispensaries.


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. It sucks how strict this new law is. I know it’s just an experiment but because it is so strict it’s going to be extremely difficult for any of these people with these diseases to get medical marijuana. By the time anyone can really make a purchase it will be 2016.

  2. wow,Illinois would fuck this up.I’ve treated migraines with cannabis for 16 years.Sick of being a criminal because i won’t take they’re devil rx with awful side effects like death

  3. BIG BAD JOHN on

    Right on i was stabbed in my back and almost wheel chair bound i was less then the width of a tooth pick from being PARALIZED i,m so lucky for what it is i can now live practically pain free what a great moment in my life no more hide and seek just whip out your m j card . sweet good luck to all who struggle with pain A’MEN people.

  4. You are soo right. I have been an Endometriosis SUFFERER for 5 Years. Never going to change.

  5. Evelyn Galvez on

    Endometriosis should be on this list. I know people in other states with this disease who have been helped greatly by marijuana. So unfair that endometriosis isn’t on the list.

    Endo sufferer :(

  6. I have epilepsy, my medications make me very nauseous. Plus I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks my entire life. I would much rather be able to get medical marijuana than be on the man made pills I’m on now.

  7. make bombs that burst and spread marijuana seeds, like johnny appleseed did by hand.

  8. schizophrenia as well, i was looking forward to being able to get a controlled strained that i knew would treat instead of exacerbating my condition. as of right now its a gamble rather it will help or make things worse each time i get a different strain. oh well guess ill have to find a doctor and randomnly shout swear words at him

  9. Compassion for the State Sanctioned sick is a marvelous start however, MILLIONS of Illinoisans will remain left out. The Land of Lincoln, the great emancipator, should have a stronger voice. Elect politicians who will make Illinois The Land of Liberty!

  10. How come there is not adhd, odd, ocd, anxiety, and others? Bipolar.. i dnt see why its got to be so strict. i mean come on.. :”(

  11. This is so exciting. I am a caregiver for a Quadriplegic woman (S.C.I.) and the only thing that makes her feel healthy is smoking a little bud. Up until now It’s been a hassle and she’s always scared of getting caught. The 30+ pills a day she has to deal with make her sick and don’t always help. She takes 17 pills alone for leg spasms, yet nothing calms her legs down like smoking a couple hitters. I am so doing the happy dance right now :)

  12. And thanks Russ for the info about Illinois – 3 cheers for sick folks in Illinois! Still wouldn’t help with my migraines, cluster headaches and joint pain – but my own cronic grow does just fine for my own needs. Just thinking – the second amendment should cover my grow! The right to “bare my arms” and work the soil and make medicine for me and my family. I’m over 50 now and starting to feel the pains of age and hard work.

  13. Thanks for the link – excellent process explanation. – “ReLEAF TOPICAL Oil Infusion Process”

  14. Share this so people know “how to” the natural way.

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