The Illinois House voted 61-57 to pass House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, the first time the chamber has passed a medical cannabis program that will provide access to Illinois patients with certain conditions to obtain cannabis legally under state law. This comprehensive program represents a significant step forward for Illinois as the General Assembly more generally considers amending its policies regarding cannabis in line with many other states throughout the country. If this bill becomes a law, Illinois will be the 19th state (plus D.C.) to allow for the use of cannabis for medical purposes in some circumstances.
Illinois NORML supports House Bill 1 because it legally protects patients and their doctor’s right to choose the best course of treatment for each individual situation. “This bill is a product of a decade of debating this issue in Illinois and failing to help these patients and provide them with safe access to their medicine,” said Illinois NORML Executive Director Dan Linn. “Because medical cannabis patients should not be criminals.”
If passed into law, this bill would create a medical cannabis system regulated by the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The law provides for up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensing organizations throughout the state. It would allow safe and legal access to medical cannabis for sick people with one of the more than 35 specific conditions listed in the legislation.
The patients would be allowed to purchase 2.5 ounces every two weeks and any cannabis used in edibles, tinctures or topicals would count towards that allotted medicine limit. Medical cannabis would be taxed at the same rate as pharmaceutical and over the counter medicines of 1%. Public safety officials, school bus drivers, police officers, firefighters, commercial drivers, anyone convicted of a drug related felony and probation officers are prohibited from being patients. There are limits as to where cannabis may be consumed and carried and patients would be subject to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test if suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis.
Watch video of the vote here http://new.livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/2022229/videos/16659040