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medical marijuana, child concerns, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyThe Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which went into effect in January 2014, has some of the most stringent rules in the country, including requiring more than just a physician’s recommendation the patient be allowed to purchase medical marijuana. The state requires that there be a “bona fide” relationship between the doctor and patient, meaning that assessment and treatment of the medical condition are ongoing. Patients who apply are required to go through a background check conducted by the Illinois State Police and must be fingerprinted – all at their own expense. There are also a limited number of medical conditions which have been approved for the program. Medical marijuana can be ingested in several forms besides smoking including, candies, cookies, flour, lotions, skin patches, and vape juice.

Limitations for Parents

Even with all the strict rules in place, there is still a risk that a person who has been approved for the program could still face serious legal issues, particularly when it concerns parenting and employment. A parent who has been approved for the program is not permitted to smoke marijuana around children who are under the age of 18. According to the Act, as long as the rules are followed, a patient’s use of medical marijuana cannot affect a parent’s custody or visitation rights.

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medical marijuana, illinois law, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyIt has taken two years, but the state’s medical marijuana program finally got underway this month when six medical marijuana stores opened their doors. The four-year pilot program is expected to eventually have approximately 60 medical marijuana dispensaries to service the anticipated 100,000 people who will be approved. Currently, however, the state has only issued 3,300 medical marijuana cards.

There are stringent rules for medical marijuana stores under which they must operate. These establishments are required to be a minimum of 1,000 feet from any daycare centers or school zones. As a result, many of the stores are actually located in industrial parks.

Employees of the stores are referred to as "bud tenders" and they work with patients to determine which type of cannabis will be the right one for the patient’s symptoms. There are two types – indica and sativa. Indica creates a relaxing effect on its user and is a better sleep aid and pain reliever than sativa. Sativa provides more of an energetic and euphoric feeling.

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synthetic marijuana, DEA, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerAs both federal and state laws across the country appear to be heading towards lessening – if not eliminating completely – criminal charges for possession and use of marijuana, there is a concerted effort on law enforcement to crack down on the availability of synthetic marijuana. A year-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently led to the breakup of a major drug ring in New York City. The sweep led to the arrest of ten men, and the seizure of more than 200 kilograms of chemicals used to manufacture the synthetic marijuana. DEA agents also seized more than 275,000 packets of the drug, which has a street value of approximately $30 million.

Synthetic marijuana, which goes by the street names of Spice or K2, is smoked just like pot. It is manufactured by adding dangerous chemicals to tea leaves or other types of spices or herbs. The product is then packaged up in small foil packets.

However, unlike the effects of regular marijuana, Spice often leaves users with dangerous side-effects, including:

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methadone treatment, inmates, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyA recent study conducted by researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island reveals that prisoners who are refused methadone treatments while incarcerated are more apt to not seek treatment once released, greatly increasing their chances of relapsing.

Methadone is a synthetic drug which is often used to treat those who are addicted to heroin and other opiates. Methadone blocks the brains receptors which are affected by the opiate, thereby alleviating the intense withdrawal that addicts often suffer when trying to get off the drugs. Methadone can be taken either in liquid or pill form, and is usually taken once a day. In most cases, a single dose of the drug blocks withdrawals for approximately 24 to 36 hours.

Although many addicts have a high rate of success with methadone, most prisons in this country do not administer the drug to inmates with addiction issues. When a methadone-treatment patient is sent to prison, they are also usually cut off from the treatment immediately upon arrival at the jail.

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drug crime, Illinois law, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyIt is estimated that annually, drug and alcohol abuse by citizens costs society upwards of $100 billion dollars. This total includes treatment, healthcare, accidental death, injury, and law enforcement costs. In each state, there are laws at both the state and federal level that are intended to combat the prevalence of drug crime by prohibiting the possession, production, and dispersal of illegal drugs.

In Illinois, illegal drugs can include both organic and manufactured substances such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, among others. Generally, federal charges are reserved for drug crimes such as trafficking or possession and, or intent to distribute large quantities of illegal substances. Federal charges typically come with the potential for longer prison sentences and stiffer penalties than those of state charges. Charges at the state level are more commonly for possession of smaller quantities of illegal substances and, or paraphernalia.

Non-Medical and Medical Marijuana in Illinois

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