Rush University Medical Center

Some Illinois health systems say no to medical marijuana

Patients must have a doctor's signature to buy medical marijuana in Illinois, but some health systems are forbidding doctors from putting pen to paper because the drug is still illegal at the federal level. Others are cautiously allowing doctors to participate in the pilot program, even conducting training sessions to make sure doctors know their legal responsibilities as gatekeepers. Illinois is among 23 states that permit marijuana for medical use, but the program has been slow to start since the law was enacted two years ago. Seven cultivation centers have been green-lighted to start growing cannabis; sales will begin later this year. Yet, only 2,800 patients have qualified for...