PTSD is the Most Common Condition Treated by Medical Cannabis in Illinois

In Illinois, the number of patients who use medical cannabis for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) surpasses that of any other condition, according to a new state report.

The report states that PTSD has become the most common medical ailment among patients who are participating in the state’s legal medical cannabis program. The report also found that the program has grown 83% this year to over 46,000 patients.

The number of patients with PTSD who are legal medical cannabis patients doubled in fiscal year 2018, to more than 4,000. This surpassed fibromyalgia (3,400 patients), and cancer (2,500 patients), which were #1 and #2 last year. Rounding out the top five are spinal cord disease and injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

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Illinois Legislature Passes Legislation to Allow Those Who Could be Prescribed Opioids to Become Medical Cannabis Patients

Legislation to allow those who have been or could be prescribed opioids to join the state’s medical cannabis program has been passed by the Illinois Legislature and sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.

Senate Bill 336 was filed by Senator Don Harmon along with a bipartisan group of 47 other lawmakers. The measure was passed by the Senate in April by a vote of 44 to 6; last week it passed the House of Representatives 77 to 38 (the same day the Senate voted 44 to 3 to concur with amendments passed by the House). The measure will now be considered by Governor Rauner.

The proposed law “includes in the definition of “debilitating medical condition” any other medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care.”

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Hemp Legalization Bill Passed by Illinois Legislature, Sent to Governor

Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp, sending it to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.

Senate Bill 2298, filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson, passed the Senate last month in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote. Yesterday it was passed by the House of Representatives 106 to 3. The Senate quickly concurred with a pair of House amendments, sending it to the desk of Governor Rauner.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act, the legislation would amend state law so that the legal definition of  cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp. It “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

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Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Students to Use Medical Marijuana at School

In an overwhelming 149 to 3 vote, Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow students who are medical marijuana patients to use their medicine on school premises.

House Bill 4870, filed by Representative Louis Lang along with nine other lawmakers, is known as Ashley’s Law. Named after Ashley Surin, a 12-year-old who uses medical marijuana to treat the epilepsy she developed during chemotherapy, passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 50 to 2. This comes roughly a month after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 99 to 1.

Having  passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, House Bill 4870 will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration. The proposed law amends the School Code to require “a school district, public school, charter school, or nonpublic school to authorize a parent or guardian of a student who is a qualifying patient to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus if both the student (as a qualifying patient) and the parent or guardian (as a designated caregiver) have been issued registry identification cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

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Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

A bill to allow for the legal cultivation and production of industrial hemp has been given approval by Illinois’ full Senate.

Senate Bill 2298 was filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson along with a dozen other legislators. It was passed by the Senate last week in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote, with nine members abstaining. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives; passage in the House would send it to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act, the legislation would amend state law so that the legal definition of  cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp, and “Provides that “noxious weed” does not include industrial hemp”. The bill “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

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Illinois House Committee Votes to Allow Expungement of Past Marijuana and Paraphernalia Convictions

Illinois legislation that would allow for individuals to have marijuana (and marijuana paraphernalia) possession charges expunged (removed) from their records has been advanced in the state’s legislature.

Since the passage of a law decriminalizing marijuana in 2016, the possession of up to 10 grams is no longer a criminal offense in Illinois. House Bill 2367, filed by State Representative La Shawn Ford, would allow those who received a charge for possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana (or for possessing paraphernalia) prior to this law taking effect to petition their circuit court to have the conviction expunged from their criminal record. This would mean it would no longer show up on a background check. In order for the individual to apply, three or more years must have passed since the petitioner had their sentence completed.

According to La Shawn Ford, “law enforcement would have a right to object to it”, which he calls fair. “You have to go before a judge, the judge will look at it, and ultimately grant a ‘yes’ or a ‘no'”, says Ford.

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Illinois Judge Orders State to Add Intractable Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

In a decision that will significantly expand the pool of people eligible to use medical cannabis in Illinois, a judge has ruled that the state must add intractable pain as a qualifying medical cannabis condition.

In 2016 the Illinois Department of Public Health rejected a petition to add intractable pain to the state’s medical cannabis program. Now, two years later, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell has ordered the agency to add the condition. Intractable pain is defined as pain that’s resistant to standard treatment options.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit brought forth by Ann Mednick, who often experiences extreme pain associated with osteoarthritis; Mednick uses prescription opioids, but says they fail to control the pain and result in numerous side effects.

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Companion Bills to Legalize Cannabis Filed in Illinois

Legislation to legalize cannabis fro everyone 21 and older has been filed in the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 316 was filed by Senator Heather Steans (D), and House Bill 2353 was filed by State Representative Kelly Cassidy. Senator Steans was the lead sponsor of a 2016 measure that has since decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis in the state.

Both SB 316 and HB 2353 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. The proposals would legalize regulated and taxes system of cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers. All-in-all, the measures would legalize cannabis “in a manner similar to alcohol”.

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Judge Orders Illinois to Add Post-Operative Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

illinoisCook County Judge Neil Cohen has ordered the Illinois Department of Health to add post-operative chronic pain as a condition that qualifies people to become legal medical cannabis patients. The state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended earlier this year that the condition be added to the medical cannabis program, but the Department of Health has declined to do so.

The judge, who ruled in June that the state must add PTSD as a medical cannabis condition (which was followed by Governor Bruce Rauner signing a bill doing just that), gave the director of the Health Department, Dr. Nirav Shah, 20 days to add post-operative chronic pain to the list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions. He scheduled a hearing for November 3rd “to ensure the Director’s compliance with this order.”

Read moreJudge Orders Illinois to Add Post-Operative Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

Illinois Marijuana Possession Laws

Illinois Marijuana Possession Laws:Illinois Marijuana Possession Laws:

 

10 g or lessCivil ViolationIncarceration: NoneFine: $200
More than 10 – 30 g (first offense)MisdemeanorIncarceration: 1 yearFine: $2,500
More than 10 – 30 g (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1* – 6 yearsFine: $25,000
More than 30 – 500 g (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1* – 6 yearsFine: $25,000
More than 30 – 500 g (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 2* – 10 yearsFine: $25,000
More than 500 – 2000 gFelonyIncarceration: 2* – 10 yearsFine: $25,000
More than 2000 – 5000 gFelonyIncarceration: 3* – 14 yearsFine: $25,000
More than 5000 gFelonyIncarceration: 4* – 30 yearsFine: $25,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

 

 

For further information on Illinois marijuana laws – including penalties for distribution and cultivation – click here (take note that the laws for distribution are incredibly harsh, with the sale of just 5 pounds resulting in a potential 20 year prison sentence). For recent updates to Illinois marijuana possession laws and other Illinois-related stories, click here.