marijuana

Where Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program Stands

May 27, 2016

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is just getting started.  The first stores opened last fall and some 6,000 people are now approved to buy cannabis through the pilot program. That number is much smaller than what many advocates say is needed to create a viable business.  There are a number of factors behind the slower-than-expected rollout of a pilot program scheduled to expire in January 2018.

WUIS

  Republican Representative Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon told a House committee Monday that he wants to warn users of serious potential side effect such as hallucinations, delusions and impaired thinking.

Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program was sponsored by Democrat Representative Lou Lang of Skokie. Lang says he'd rather wait until the pilot program ends in 20-17 rather than pass piecemeal legislation.

"There may be an opportunity in the future to work on something like this. I just think it's ill-timed," he says.

Retail sales of medical marijuana in Illinois increased by roughly 30 percent in March compared to the previous month.

Program director Joseph Wright says the state's registered dispensaries sold $1.9 million worth of marijuana in March to more than 4,700 patients. It was the best month yet in sales for the program.

Illinois now has 32 registered dispensaries where qualified patients can buy the drug. Three new dispensaries registered in March.

Wright says approximately 5,500 patients now qualify for the program.

Illinois lawmakers are again trying to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana but face strong opposition from law enforcement and anti-pot advocates.

The omnibus bill in the Senate also would set a standard for what's considered too high to drive.

Opponents of the legislation say there should be zero tolerance for using marijuana and driving and that decriminalizing pot sends the wrong message to youth.

The bill would make possessing 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable by fines of up to $200.

Illinois Panel Pushes Proposal To Reduce Pot Penalties

Mar 10, 2016

An Illinois panel advanced a proposal that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    

People caught with 10 grams or less of cannabis would pay a maximum fine of 200 dollars.  

Brandon Nemec is with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. He says it’s a more efficient use of law enforcement officers. 

Illinois medical marijuana shops had their best month yet in February with nearly $1.5 million in sales, bringing total retail sales to more than $4.4 million since the program began Nov. 9.

Program director Joseph Wright announced Tuesday that registered dispensaries served 3,042 unique patients during February. Two new dispensaries joined the program last month, raising the total to 29 shops as of Monday.

Wright says approximately 4,800 Illinois patients now qualify for the program.

flickr/dankdepot

A pair of Libertarian political candidates are suing the state of Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law prohibits campaign donations from companies that grow or dispense cannabis.

Benjamin Barr is a lawyer with the Pillar of Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He says he filed the lawsuit because his clients favor legalization of drugs and should be able to seek support from like-minded businesses.

The Ho-Chunk Nation is a step closer to legalizing marijuana use on its tribal lands in Wisconsin. 

No, marijuana is not legal to grow, use, or sell on Ho-Chunk lands…yet. But the Nation’s general council voted at a meeting in Madison, Wisconsin to reverse a ban on marijuana on tribal lands. 63% of the 1600 voting members wanted to overturn the anti-marijuana policy. The vote’s not binding: but now the tribe’s attorneys are looking into the legal implications.

WUIS

A marijuana advocacy group is urging Illinois lawmakers to accept Governor Bruce Rauner's changes to a marijuana decriminalization plan. 

In his amendatory veto, the Governor supported lowering penalties for possession of pot but he did tighten the amount someone could have to avoid a criminal charge.  

The National Organization to Reform Marijuana laws says it's still a move in the right direction.

WUIS

Low level marijuana users may soon catch a break in Illinois. Rather than going to jail, it'd be more like getting a speeding ticket.

The repercussions for having pot vary; Rep. Kelly Cassidy says there are more than 100 different local ordinances all over the state.

"And the outcome from this patchwork system puts in place an unjust and confusing system wherein where you live and what you look like dictates whether or not you'll be arrested for extremely low-level marijuana possession," Cassidy said.

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