What would medical marijuana mean for Illinois?

Chicago TribuneLouis I Lang

For the third time in recent years, Illinois House lawmakers are considering whether to allow state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes. To figure out what this might mean for Illinois if this legislation is eventually enacted, the Chicago Tribune looked at how other states around the country have done it.

Some, like California, don't require official IDs for patients or licensing for dispensaries. Others, like Colorado, do. Most states allow patients to grow their own marijuana plants; others do not. There are also varying definitions among states about what constitutes a "qualifying condition."

Under the current bill considered in Illinois, patients and dispensaries would be licensed by the state. Patients would not be allowed to grow their own plants. And qualifying conditions would be initially limited to about three dozen, including cancer and HIV.

The full story appeared in Monday's Tribune

According to sponsoring Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, lawmakers may take up the issue this week. If the House passes the bill, it will head to the Senate, which has approved similar legislation before.

The arguments for and against may not surprise you, though the political landscape during a lame-duck session might change the dynamic for the idea. We wanted to show what had changed to give the measure a new life in Illinois -- and what other states have encountered as they implemented their own versions.

-- Cynthia Dizikes

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