As of today, pot for medical purposes is now legal in Illinois. The state joins 19 others, as well as Washington DC taking pot sales off the black market for people who are prescribed marijuana for pain.
Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill earlier today and the law will go into effect January 1st, 2014.
There are plenty of restrictions on the process for buyers and sellers. For starters, there will be no more than 22 cultivation centers in the state with 24 hour surveillance. That is one for each state police district. And they must be 2500 feet from day care centers and schools.
As for dispensaries, no more than 60 in the state and buyers can only obtain 2.5 ounces every 14 days. Patients and caregivers can not be distributors.
The law says 35 medical conditions are eligible for a person to be prescribed medical marijuana. They included illnesses like cancer, MS and AIDS.
The prescribing physician must have a “established relationship” with the patient.
Marijuana will be unavailable to minors, people with felony drug convictions or psychiatric conditions. Doctors are also not allowed to prescribe pot for police, firefighters, probation officers, and school bus drivers.