Illinois Becomes 20th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

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On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn passed a medical marijuana law.  Some Marijuana advocates are calling this a win, whereas others see it as a step in the wrong direction.  Although many chronically ill patients will now be able to ease their pain and nausea, Illinois will be practicing some of the strictest regulation for the legal consumption of cannabis.
The law will allow approved patients to possess and consume a maximum of 2.5 ounces every two weeks.  It will not be too easy to obtain a prescription, though, because patients must be recommended by an established physician.  The laws will not be as lax as in California, where anyone could get a medical card for ailments such as anxiety or stress.  Instead, only qualifying patients who are diagnosed with one or more medical conditions from a designated list of 33 conditions will be able to seek a medical marijuana prescription.
Groups that are objecting to the bill are mainly upset that the bill does not do enough to protect American citizens from the often harsh drug crime laws.  For example, patients who decide to grow their own medicine will continue to be criminalized in Illinois.  This can be frustrating, because most states that have made made medical marijuana permissible, have accordingly allowed the cultivation of medical marijuana.  Now, most patients will be forced to pay for their medicine at exorbitantly state-regulated prices.
Many cannabis advocates are also disconcerted over the intrusive nature of this new bill.  In order for patients to obtain a medical marijuana prescription, they will be subject to fingerprinting and background checks.  The bill will also give police the power to access a patient’s record with the utmost of ease.  Counterintuitively, the United States have less intrusive background checks to qualify for purchasing a dangerous weapon.  With such harsh regulations, Illinois may turn people to the streets in order to obtain their much needed medicine.
In the end, with nearly half the states in the U.S. allowing for the medicinal use of cannabis, the country is coming increasingly closer to the day that the government will no longer tell its citizens what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn passed a medical marijuana law.  Some Marijuana advocates are calling this a win, whereas others see it as a step in the wrong direction.  Although many chronically ill patients will now be able to ease their pain and nausea, Illinois will be practicing some of the strictest regulation for the legal consumption of cannabis.

The law will allow approved patients to possess and consume a maximum of 2.5 ounces every two weeks.  It will not be too easy to obtain a prescription, though, because patients must be recommended by an established physician.  The laws will not be as lax as in California, where anyone could get a medical card for ailments such as anxiety or stress.  Instead, only qualifying patients who are diagnosed with one or more medical conditions from a designated list of 33 conditions will be able to seek a medical marijuana prescription.

Groups that are objecting to the bill are mainly upset that the bill does not do enough to protect American citizens from the often harsh drug crime laws.  For example, patients who decide to grow their own medicine will continue to be criminalized in Illinois.  This can be frustrating, because most states that have made made medical marijuana permissible, have accordingly allowed the cultivation of medical marijuana.  Now, most patients will be forced to pay for their medicine at exorbitantly state-regulated prices.

Many cannabis advocates are also disconcerted over the intrusive nature of this new bill.  In order for patients to obtain a medical marijuana prescription, they will be subject to fingerprinting and background checks.  The bill will also give police the power to access a patient’s record with the utmost of ease.  Counterintuitively, the United States have less intrusive background checks to qualify for purchasing a dangerous weapon.  With such harsh regulations, Illinois may turn people to the streets in order to obtain their much needed medicine.

In the end, with nearly half the states in the U.S. allowing for the medicinal use of cannabis, the country is coming increasingly closer to the day that the government will no longer tell its citizens what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

 

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