* Media advisory…
What: Gov. Pritzker to sign medical cannabis legislation.
Where: Memorial Hospital Campus, Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation, 228 West Miller Street, Springfield
When: 1:30 p.m.
He officially signed the bill on Friday because the 60-day clock was about to expire.
* Dot points from the bill’s House sponsor…
Adds qualifying medical conditions that were previously approved by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. Allows APRN’s and Physician Assistants to certify patients in addition to physicians.
Increases the number of caregivers (up to 3) that patients can designate to help them access the medical cannabis program, particularly helping children and senior patients.
Requires 5 remaining dispensaries to be awarded using social equity as a significant factor.
Real-time changes from IDPH when qualified patients designate a new registered dispensary.
Directs the IDFPR to establish guidelines permitting returns and refunds for damaged and inadequate products, and streamlines program access for veterans.
The new law also gives qualified patients the right to grow as many as five plants in their homes.
* But the IML and the coppers are still up in arms…
There is confusion, [Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League] said, about how law enforcers will know a person who is growing cannabis in their home is doing so legally as a prescribed medical marijuana user. […]
The new law allows those who have a medical marijuana card to grow no more than five plants in their home without needing to be a licensed cultivation center or craft grower. The League’s concern, Cole wrote in his letter, is the lack of “registration or notification requirements to municipalities or their police departments” about which residences can legally grow cannabis plants.
“We’re saying, we need to know,” he said. “How do we know if these are five legal plants or five illegal plants?”
[Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, one of the statute’s framers and her chamber’s sponsor] said the idea of “a registry had been raised,” but some interest groups expressed concerns it might be a civil rights violation. She added local governing bodies would know if the plants were legal by asking whether their owner had a medical marijuana card.
Steans is exactly right. If the patients are selling their personal stash to others, then bust ‘em. If not, why do the cops need to know what people are doing in the privacy of their own homes for their own health benefits? A registry is essentially a prior assumption of guilt in this instance.
Times have changed. The stigma needs to be lifted.