Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures News
Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures

[JURIST] Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] signed [press release] legislation [SB 2636 materials] Sunday that will allow adults and children suffering from seizures access to medical marijuana [JURIST backgrounder]. The bill amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act to allow children, with parental consent, to access medical marijuana for the same range of conditions currently available to adults. The bill also expands the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is available. Upon signing, Quinn said:

This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state. Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, and this much needed relief will help to reduce some of its symptoms for those who endure seizures. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act is now designed to help our fellow citizens of all ages by allowing its strictly controlled use for specific medical conditions.

The legislation is scheduled to take effect January 1.

Quinn signed medical marijuana legislation [JURIST report] last year. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act is one of the country’s strictest medical marijuana laws, requiring users of the drug to carry an identification card, enroll in a confidential multi-agency verification system run by the Department of Health, and obtain a written certification from a physician regarding the specific needs for marijuana and the expected outcomes. Earlier this month New York Governor Andrew Cuomo [official website] signed [JURIST report] the Compassionate Care Act [text] into law, making New York the twenty-third state to legalize medical marijuana. Last month Florida Governor Rick Scott [official website] signed [JURIST report] a bill allowing a non-euphoric strain of marijuana to be used for the treatment of epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Minnesota lawmakers in May approved a bill [JURIST report] legalizing medical marijuana in pill or liquid form for a limited number of patients who suffer from severe or fatal illnesses.