|Posted by Reverend Wayne on November 28, 2010 at 7:00 PM||comments (4)|
8-1/13 - A DAY TO REMEMBER!
House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, has been signed into law by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. After ten years of debating the issue within the state, HB 1 represents a significant step forward for Illinois cannabis policy and makes Illinois the 20th state (plus D.C.) to allow for the legitimate medicinal use of cannabis in certain situations.
"Illinois has finally recognized that cannabis can be helpful and hopefully this opens the door to broader reform. We should be allowing farmers to grow hemp in Illinois and we eventually need to end cannabis prohibition entirely," said Illinois NORML Executive Director Dan Linn. The Illinois House passed HB1 on April 17, 2013, and the Senate followed suit exactly one month later. Governor Quinn's signature on the bill comes a few days before the 60-day deadline laid out in the Illinois Constitution was set to expire.
Illinois NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) supports HB1 because cannabis has been proven to have medical value, and this legislation protects patients' and their doctors' rights to choose the best course of treatment for each individual case. Illinois' medical cannabis program will help thousands of seriously ill people relieve their debilitating symptoms with cannabis and will provide patients safe access to their medicine, without fear of arrest or incarceration.
"Many people much sicker than myself are depending on this," Jim Champion, a patient with MS, explains, "It's an exclusive club, but one you don't want to be in."
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act is one of the country's stricter medical cannabis laws. It creates a limited exception to Illinois criminal law, permitting doctor-advised medical use of cannabis by patients with one or more of over 35 serious medical conditions.
Unlike other states' laws, "general pain" is not a qualifying patient condition under HB 1, and patients and caregivers are prohibited from cultivating cannabis. Instead, medical cannabis will be dispensed to patients from one of up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensing organizations throughout the state to be tightly regulated by the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The health department will issue medical cannabis ID cards to patients who will be allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks, including cannabis used in edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Medical cannabis will be taxed at 1%, the same rate as pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medicines.
"I am very relieved to finally have access to a treatment that works for me and is supported by my doctor," said Julie Falco, another Illinois patient with MS. "Although, it is bittersweet knowing that there are many others that still won't have that access until there is inclusion of all illnesses into this law. There is much more work to be done, though this a grand first step."
The legislation includes commonplace restrictions including prohibitions on public use of cannabis and driving under the influence. Minors, public safety officials, school bus and commercial drivers, police and correctional officers, firefighters, and anyone convicted of a drug related felony are prohibited from qualifying as patients. The legislation does not prohibit employers from maintaining zero-tolerance, drug-free workplace policies.
"This is an important first step in changing the way the citizens of Illinois view and regulate cannabis. Despite its many flaws, the new law will provide access to this medicine and protection from criminal prosecution to the patients with serious medical conditions that use it," says Ali Nagib, Assistant Director of Illinois NORML.
Congrats but the fight is still not over. patients need to be able to grow and or have caregivers who can grow for them.
It's still a matter of cost! Most of s patients are on fixed income and let's face it, the grow facilities are going to charge as much as they can and still keep business. A patient grower would never have to pay for medication after the first harvest and pretty much insure an uninterrupted source when they have no finances to pay a facility.
Folks the police will be looking for any reason to make it look like you're conducting illegal activity in an effort to make the state impose harsher laws and sentencing. PLEASE exercise your rights but be sure you are doing so legally.
And last, keep your business to yourself, you as a patient are now pray for predators who will watch facilities for easy targets. Not trying to scare anyone but it is a common practice for young gangbangers to target patients. Even the grow facilities are targets and need very tight security measures. I personally know eight dispensary's in Lansing, MI. that were robbed, and four friends that have lost crops and three have lost their lives.
7/9/13- We called the Governors office again today and he has yet to sign HB1 (Medical Marijuana), and his aide said "he only has a week or so left on the 60 days to sign, BUT, if he doesn't sign it will still go into effect 60 days from when it was passed." His not signing may be a way for him to be non-committal thus be a way for him to say "I never signed." But he's a decent man and we fell he sees the importance and application of medical marijuana.
You should still call his office and let him know you stand behind his decision to sign and appreciate any efforts he makes to implement the law. The Governor's office number is (217) 782-0244.
Thanks for all your support over the years and we're almost there. But there's still more work to do for the cause so we need as many people as possible to help get rights passed like, patients should be able to grow their own, any businessman should be able to open a grow facility as it is a business and should be a right under free enterprise.
6/25/2013- Welcome folks, we appreciate you stopping by our site and we also appreciate the fact that we can be a part of the fight for your rights to alternative medications.
We are still waiting to hear from the Governors office concerning his signing the HB for medical marijuana in Illinois. He only had 60 days once it hit his desk so it will happen any day now.
Unfortunatly a lot of our rights had to be negotiated to get the bill passed but once it is passed and in effect for a duration, it can be altered if enough interest is expressed to our legislation (Senate and local Reps.) demanding that we have rights that should be in place already.
One right is the right to grow your own medication freeing you from the overhead of a dispensary and caregivers who keep prices usually higher than the average patient can afford exspecially on a fixed income.
We were told that there will be 60 state approved grow centers that will provide medication for the whole state. One grow center in each town that has a State Police headquarters.
We asked the governors aide how they will be able to immediatly provide medication and the answer was "we aren't sure, they may bring it in from another state." No-one will give any certain facts yet because the bill isn't signed..
It seems as though the Dept. Of Agriculture will be running and monitoring the "Grow Centers," and will decide who gets to operate. Once again, no certainty.
A patient asked "can we have it sent from another state?" The answer unfortunately is no. It is still illegal to send any medication through the mail that isn't monitored or under Federal jurisdiction.
The grow centers will have to be given some sort of leeway or medication won't be available for at least 4-6mo.(grow cycle) unless they use 90 day wonders-plants that are ready to harvest 90 days from germination. These plants only yield an ounce to maybe an ounce and a half per, so it will take an abundance. YES, some illegal growers now will have product immediately, but we have no idea how they will be able to interject their plants into "the system," as the grow centers are supposedly to have logs and each plant has to be accounted for right from germination to harvest and to whom it was sold to.. Once again no certainty from any office, governors or Lou Langs, or Rep. Haines.
The easiest way to be sure is to contact their office personally, they are very kind and willing to give you any information they have..
Lou Langs Office: 217-782-1252/847-673-1131
Rep. Haines Office: 217-782-5247/618-456-4764
Governors Office: 217-782-0244
Unfortunately we are so swamped with our involvement in 3 states attempting to get patients rights or get bills passed that we haven't been able to get out our monthly newsletter. We also are spread so thin we can't hire another person to dedicate time to do some of the IL. business so we try to get at it as often as time allows. Please be patient, we are doing everything off our fixed incomes and at times we're spread kinda thin..
POINT: If you believe in something you may face pitfalls and ridicule along the way. Think of Jesus, if he would have said "Man this saving the people is a real hassle, I give up," where would we be now? If you believe in something and you know it is right, you have to go all in, and when you loose a round, fight your best the next round, It's when you give up you are beaten!
Editor: Thanks to all of our loyal friends and thankful patients who have made the effort worthwhile. God Bless every one of you.