Illinois medical marijuana hb 1
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Representative: Illinois Medical Marijuana Program May Be Doomed

Illinois medical marijuana hb 1Illinois approved a pilot medical marijuana program in 2013. The program started in 2014 with one caveat – there was no actual medical marijuana to legally obtain. Safe access to medical marijuana for patients requires licenses being issued to growers and distributors, as patients can’t grow their own medical marijuana in Illinois. As of this post, there have been no licenses issued, and there are no immediate plans by the State of Illinois to do so.

The task to issue licenses was up to outgoing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who announced that there will be no licenses issued until the next Governor takes office. Incoming Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner stated during his campaign that he would have vetoed the medical marijuana bill, which doesn’t exactly sound encouraging. The problems plaguing Illinois’ medical marijuana program implementation have brought some critical comments from the program’s original sponsor, Illinois Representative Lou Lang. Per the State Journal-Register:

Despite departing Gov. Pat Quinn declining to award licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana, Rep. Lou Lang said he’s still holding out hope for Illinois’ program.

The Democrat from Skokie said he was upset Quinn decided to neglect the issue in recent weeks, particularly because Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, said during the campaign he likely would have vetoed the medical marijuana bill passed last year.

Lang said Quinn’s refusal to award licenses is a catastrophic blow to the four-year pilot initiative.

“This single failure may doom the medical cannabis program,” Lang said at a Capitol news conference Tuesday. “This single failure said to all of those folks that made applications to be cultivators or dispensary owners that we took your $5 million (in fees), but we’ll get to you when we feel like it.”

The patients of Illinois deserve safe access. Denying their safe access for what can only be described as political purposes is unacceptable. This foot dragging is also unacceptable for those that have paid application fees. They have received no answers to their questions, and there is the looming possibility that they will be out the money they have spent this far entirely. People have paid more than just application fees, they have also paid for research, which isn’t cheap. One representative that I met with about a month ago told me that he and a group of investors had spent roughly one million dollars during the process of trying to get licenses to grow medical marijuana in Illinois. It would be a shame if that were all for not.

  • Jeff deutsch

    Every major medical society, including the American Medical Association — the AMA — and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (The ASCO) want Medical Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. I’m a Scientist who’s studied both the science behind Medical Marijuana and the history of Marijuana prohibition in detail and I think its shameful and immoral for anyone to oppose the immediate legalization of Marijuana. Americans have an almost 1 in 2 chance of getting Cancer and when they do, a 1 in 2 chance of dying from it if they do. Medical Marijuana is a “Wonder drug” for Cancer patients, dramatically improving their quality of life, and recent results concerning high dose Medical Marijuana oil therapy are extremely encouraging. Its IMMORAL to have Medical Marijuana be illegal anywhere in the world. Marijuana is a great medicine. Patients deserve the right to have it prescribed by their Physicians and the government has no moral right to prevent American Physicians from prescribing it for their patients.

    • Jetdoc

      Thanks for your work Jeff! I agree with you 100%. Denying this medicine to ANYONE should be a crime against humanity!

  • Scott Rellim

    This is nuts. These people have paid 5 million in licensing fees and the state is in no hurry to hold up their end and give them and the voters what they voted in and paid for. Unbelievable. Actually, it’s not. Nothing surprises me any more.

    • Jetdoc

      Just think of all the people in that state who thought they were gonna get some help for their seizing children or the Chrons disease sufferer, the VET w/PTSD, the Chronic pain sufferer, etc! How do you think THEY feel about this?

      What Quinn did was absolute CHICKENSHIT! HE should’ve issued licenses BEFORE he left office to ensure, that the program would at least move forward. But deferring to a guy who said he would’ve VETOED what was passed by the legislature, to me is SPINELESS and nothing but “lip service” to a public who NEEDS to be given some alternative to R/x drugs that DON’T work!

      • Al Capone used to run Illinois. Does that clarify the situation for you?

      • Pan

        Devil’s Advocate: Quinn could be leaving the licenses for the incoming governor like leaving a guy a pistol if you know he’ll just shoot himself in the foot. If the new governor signs the petitions he’ll be seen as going back on a campaign promise and betraying the ideals of his constituency, but if he doesn’t sign he’s going to end up with a PR disaster of sick people protesting and large moneyed interests turning against him as they continue to lose money holding onto unused properties. If Quinn had signed the petitions, he would have left it as something Rauner could moan about (betraying the will of the people who had elected Rauner). It’s like Quinn left a no-win landmine on the Governor’s desk for the new guy to walk in and stare at.

        I’m pretty sure if Rauner continues to stonewall with no legal reason, someone is eventually going to come at him for violating their right to Due Process.

  • For those not familiar with Illinois – Skokie is heavily Jewish. The Reform Jews have been in favor of medical cannabis since 2003. The Orthodox and Conservatives are mostly on board as well.

  • Sinclair

    Can you say fired, anybody, anyone?

  • Randy Gross

    This is a fear mongering headline – it’s far from doomed. We live under rule of law, and big lawsuits are going to be coming shortly if they already aren’t in the works. If we’re having this discussion a month from now, I’d be a bit more concerned. Don’t lose hope.

  • Paul Valentine

    Can you say marijuana is still against Federal Law?

  • JMVB

    Politicians still think of marijuana as a bad thing. They are going to believe in whatever might get them elected again. Those who can should grow their own and FUCK the insane law.

  • StudioA64

    “doomed?” i can hear the attorneys for the State and the American entrepreneurs gathering now. with 23 States + DC with MMJ, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado with RMJ, and the FEDS allowing current models to continue, it’s likely a matter of time before IL moves forward. The point system, the secrecy of the awarding process, the fingerprinting of patients = troubles, delays, and potential lawsuits. IL may be losing the ‘compassion’ in it’s Compassionate Use Act. Have question? We are the answer. Be the solution you seek.

  • MDS

    Being from Illinois this is bullshit. The problem with the bill is that it has a 4 year life to it and it needs to have a another bill passed to keep it going after 2017 but since the retards of this state elected a billionaire, criminal, monster for governor not only will cannabis suffer but all other qualitys of life. Im movin to another state by this summer because im sick of the corrupt rich assholes taxing the fuck out of middleclass and poor. illinois is one of the worst states DONT LIVE HERE

  • Whyiowa4medical

    Johnny, I saw a news report that Chicago and many suburbs have enacted “Home Rule,” the same freedom laws that gave Ann Arbor, MI the right to punish marijuana possession as a $5 civil ticket. Chicago went against the state and has what shows on Cannasos and THC Finders as fully functional dispensaries at a fraction of what Ill. charged. Is this true, or does this need correction?

  • Karen

    There are no dispensaries in Chicago or IL, so whatever source reported that was incorrect. Certainly a black market operates but not openly in a storefront. As for possession……Chicago decrimanilized possession of 15 grams or less a few years back. Various other townships in the area have passed laws in varying quantaties but nothing uniformly across the state.

  • Whyiowa4medical

    I rechecked both sites and all dispensaries had been removed!!! How sad as THC Finders had sponsored at least three that I once saw; less than two months ago. This is why my decision was against Ill. It was far beyond costly, the money involved could have bought a nice residence in Malibu!!! If they do not get moving quickly, all applicants should get their money back; with INTEREST.