Rep. Lou Lang’s Medical Marijuana bill

Looks like Lou Lang (Skokie’s Illinois representative to the state legislature) is reintroducing his medical marijuana bill. This time it appears he has the votes to get it passed.

I think it is a sad commentary on the intelligence of the average Illinois voter and the integrity of the average Illinois politician that a number of representatives know this law makes sense but are too scared to vote for it.

3 Responses to Rep. Lou Lang’s Medical Marijuana bill

  1. Curt on at

    Here is more detailed info on the Act (as originally introduced) from Lou Lang:

    Synopsis As Introduced

    Creates the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

    Provides that when a person has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition, the person and the person’s primary caregiver may be issued a registry identification card by the Department of Public Health that permits the person or the person’s primary caregiver to legally possess no more than 6 cannabis plants and 2 ounces of dried usable cannabis.

    Amends the Cannabis Control Act to make conforming changes, including that any registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver who distributes cannabis to someone who is not allowed to use cannabis is subject to a penalty enhancement of not more than 2 years in prison or a fine of not more than $2,000, or both, for abuse of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

    Provides that the Act is repealed 3 years after its effective date. Repeals the research provisions of the Cannabis Control Act. Provides that the Department of Public Health shall develop and disseminate educational information about the health risks associated with the abuse of cannabis and prescription medications.

    Provides that the Department shall promulgate rules governing the manner in which it shall consider applications for and renewals of registration certificates for medical cannabis organizations.

  2. Curt on at

    Here are the changes from the original (again from Lou Lang):

    Removes Grow-your-Own. In the underlying bill, qualified patients were permitted to possess up to 6 cannabis plants (3 mature) to satisfy their adequate supply. After the change, only registered nonprofit medical cannabis organizations (MCOs) would be authorized to grow cannabis for registered patients.

    Fixes Adequate Supply. The bill sets the amount of cannabis qualified patients may posses at 2.5 ounces for a 14-day period and allows for a quantity variance where there is a doctor-certified necessity to alleviate the patient’s pain. In the underlying bill, 2 ounces for a 60 day period was presumptively adequate and the Department of Public Health was to set the allowable quantity by rule.

    Further Clarifies the Physician-Patient Relationship. A written certification that a patient would receive palliative or therapeutic benefit from cannabis may only be made during a “bona fide” doctor-patient relationship. This bill adds this certification must be done (1) after a full review of the patient’s relevant records and (2) after a physical examination. The bill clarifies that the doctor must be licensed under the Medical Practice Act and have the authority to prescribe controlled substances; this, however, expressly does not include any other practitioner, including but not limited to a person licensed under the Dental Practice Act. The bill ensures that the Physician-Patient relationship is statutorily protected. It ensures medical information held by the Department of Public Health and dispensaries is also protected. And the bill provides recognitions for veterans who utilize doctors at VA hospitals.

    Provides for Certain Second Opinions. In the case of debilitating pain, nausea, and other symptoms, a patient must submit a second doctor’s opinion that the first diagnosis is accurate.

    Limits Out-of-State Cardholders. The bill provides that people with valid out of state registry cards who suffer from debilitating conditions may use and possess their adequate supply. Under the bill, such patients would be expressly prohibited from purchasing cannabis from a MCO until they receive a written certification from an Illinois doctor.

    Establishes Web-based Verification. The bill provides for a Web-based database to track patients’ adequate supply and allow law enforcement to verify a patient’s status as a registered cardholder on a 24-hour basis.
    Limits Dispensaries to Nonprofit. In the underlying bill, there was no limitation on the type of entity the MCO needed to be. The amendment makes dispensaries nonprofit.

    Mandates Background Checks. The amendment provides for background checks, including fingerprints, of dispensary agents and caregivers.

    Enables Reasonable Zoning. The underlying bill was silent on local zoning. The amendment provides that units of local government may adopt reasonable local zoning laws concerning the location of MCOs. The provision expressly preempts home rule.

    Establishes a DUI Statutory Rule. Under current law, a driver violates the DUI statute if he or she drives with any amount of cannabis in his or her system. Under the amendment, two changes would be made to craft a limited exception for medical cannabis users:
    1. A qualified patient would not be able to drive within 4 hours of consuming cannabis; and
    2. It would be a per se DUI to drive with a cannabis concentration of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood and 15 nanograms per milliliter of urine.
    The aim is to insert a rationally defensible baseline incorporating existing data regarding what is currently known about cannabis impairment. This amended figure is to be evaluated by the Department to assess its effect. Without some form of exception to the existing DUI law, medical cannabis patients would likely always be guilty of DUI, even if they were not impaired. All other sections of the DUI statute would also apply. And the modified prohibitions would be subject to existing law concerning implied consent and summary suspension.

    Enhances Criminal Penalties. Enhances all penalties for cannabis offenses committed by dispensary agents for possession, distribution, and cannabis related conspiracies.

    Specifies Expanded Department Rulemaking. Enhances the Department’s rulemaking power related to security, transportation, quality and cultivation of medical cannabis.

  3. ronnie on at

    i think medical would be great for illinois it would bring more money in for the state and lower crime involving distrubution of marijuana to marijuana patients

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