Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Finally Begins

Posted on in Drug Crimes

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.

There are also stringent rules for patients when it comes to purchasing the medical marijuana. In order to qualify, a person must be suffering from one of the nearly 40 accepted medical conditions, which include multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV. The person must pass a criminal background check, which is run by using the person’s submitted fingerprints. The person must also supply state-issued photo identification.

There is also a limit in how much a patient can purchase – up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. This amount will provide approximately 10 joints per day, and the cost of the marijuana is around $20 a gram.

As of now the stores are only offering dried flowered versions of marijuana, but they will eventually be selling edibles, extracts, lotions, and oils. There is even discussion of maybe selling patches, as well.

Unfortunately, there are many people who have attempted to register with the state to be able to purchase marijuana legally for medicinal purposes, but have not been approved yet. Many of these people have admitted to using marijuana illegally, but say they do so because they need relief from the often painful side effects of their medical condition.

If you have been arrested for possession or use of marijuana, contact an experienced Arlington Heights defense attorney to help facilitate your defense against these charges. Call the law office of Scott F. Anderson at 847-253-3400 today.