Patient who ordered THC candy sentenced to 4 years, as Illinois prepares for legalization

GENEVA, Ill. — A suburban Chicago cancer patient who ordered a 42-pound (19-kilogram) package of THC-infused chocolates from a California dispensary to self-medicate has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Thomas J. Franzen of Montgomery pleaded guilty in Kane County Circuit Court to possession of more than 5,000 grams (176 ounces) of cannabis, a felony that carried a prison term of from probation to 15 years.

Defense attorney David Camic said prosecutors showed “compassion” in dismissing the more serious charge of cannabis trafficking after authorities intercepted the chocolates in 2014.

Camic says the 37-year-old Franzen has stage 4 cancer and was using the chocolates to relieve himself from symptoms, such as nausea.

Franzen is due in court June 14, when he will present results of new medical tests to Judge Clint Hull, who will decide when Franzen will begin serving his prison term.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he will sign a proposal that will make Illinois the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to permit recreational marijuana use. Once signed, the law would go into effect next year.

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