New Rules Released for Medical Marijuana in Illinois


New rules released today outline the possible limits of medical marijuana. The state began a 4-year pilot program, effective January 1st. But, nothing can happen until we pass rules by which to govern it. State agencies say the first law was a little too tough.

"The act is some of the strictest language there is for medical cannabis," said Melaney Arnold from the Illinois Department of Public Health. "We did want to make sure we had those strict rules in there to prevent abuse and fraud, but also make it accessible for people."

But now, new rules released hope to make medical marijuana readily available to those who need it.

"Our ultimate goal is to make sure that we're implementing the new law as intended," said Arnold. "It's to help relieve some of the pain and suffering from people with the 40 identified disabling conditions that are listed in the act. So we're here for the people of Illinois."

One of the new rules reduces the fee for obtaining a medical cannabis license from $150 to $100 for regular patients and down to $50 for veterans and disabled people. Another provision of the original law is that people with medical cannabis licenses can not own a firearm. That rule has been dropped. According the Lt. Jamie Belcher, law enforcement isn't opposed to the change as long as.

"We would have an open platform to be able to talk to the doctors to say hey, you know, this person is acting out of sorts while they're under the influence of this prescribed medication, so therefore, we believe that they should not have access to a firearm," said Belcher.

It will be at least another 90 days before lawmakers decide to keep the rules or change them based on public feedback.

More details on how you can do that. The draft of these medical marijuana rules now goes through a 45-day public comment period. To read the rules and voice your opinion, we've posted a link on our web site.

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