The big thing is that those who suffer from certain medical conditions have been able to purchase certain strains of marijuana for the treatment and alleviation of symptoms.
(Note: Incoming Governor Pritzker's comments on a strong pro-legalization: Changes to Come - after the 2018 midterm elections)
This article is meant to answer all the questions you might have about the state of legal weed in Illinois. Marijuana legalization, Illinois is your next destination so you don’t have to search for pot dealers.
What Are your Options?
Even though Illinois is a far cry from a pot paradise such as the state of Colorado, there are still ways to obtain weed the legal way.
Ever since 2013, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program has made it possible for people who suffer from various sorts of debilitating medical conditions to get hold of marijuana the legal way. At first, the program was about to end in 2018, but it’s now been extended all the way to 2020.
To purchase weed legally, you need to have a medical cannabis registration ID card with which you can make your purchase at the nearest dispensary. Keep in mind that it’s not that easy to obtain one of those cards, so read on to find out how to do that.
The Medical Card
First of all, you need to be a resident of the state of Illinois, you need to have a valid photo ID card, and you certainly need to be clean of any drug-related offenses.
You need to fill an application with the Illinois Department of Public Health and prove that you are an Illinois resident and that you’re certified by your physician. Along with your application, your physician needs to send another form on your behalf.
Along with these you will need to provide a fingerprint scan and agree to a very thorough background check. Before sending in your application fee of $100, you will also need to choose the district of your future cannabis dispensary.
Once all of this is done, sit and wait, because you will hear back from the Department of Public Health in anywhere between one and three months. When your card arrives, choose a dispensary where you want to use to purchase your marijuana.
This is very important as you can’t just walk down to any dispensary in the state and buy some weed. If you don’t want to make purchases on your own, there is an option of assigning a person of your choice as a caregiver, but this calls for even more paperwork.
You are allowed to purchase no more than 2.5 ounces of weed once every two weeks. There are now more than 50 registered dispensaries in the state of Illinois.
Which Medical Conditions Can Be Treated?
Obviously, marijuana can’t be used for the treatment of any medical condition. There is an extensive list of medical conditions approved by the State of Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Law, and it includes these:
- Residual limb pain
- Nail-Patella syndrome
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Complex regional pain syndrome II
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Tourette syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia
- Arnold-Chiari malformation
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hydromyelia syringomyelia
- Tarlov cysts
- Spinal cord disease
- Severe fibromyalgia
- Muscular dystrophy
- Wasting syndrome
- Agitations of Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Hepatitis C infections
- All different forms of cancer
What Can You Purchase?
At all dispensaries there is a wide selection of marijuana strains and derivative products to choose from. The most obvious choice is to purchase some of the flower buds available, as there are numerous strains out there. Be careful as not of them are equally potent, so it’s best to consult some of the dispensary staff before making your purchase.
Besides these, you can also choose from a vast range of edibles which include drinks, chocolates, cooking oils, and other sorts of food. Some of these can be very strong, so once again get well informed before buying a product.
There are also different waxes, ointments, lotions, essential oils, and balms which are meant to be applied topically on your skin.
Can You Grow Your Own Weed?
In a word, no. All the weed and weed products that the dispensaries carry come from carefully grown cannabis plants at cultivation centers, which must be licensed by the state.
Where Can You Use It?
Only in the privacy of your own residence. It is illegal to consume marijuana in any public place.
The state of Illinois has gone to great lengths to make it possible for patients to get medical marijuana for the treatment of their approved medical conditions. We can only look forward to the next step of full marijuana legalization in Illinois.
New Governor Pritzker won the governor's race after making marijuana legalization a centerpiece of his campaign. Further detail in the post: Marijuan Midterm Election 2018