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Illinois: Governor Signs Measure Expanding Medical Marijuana Law To Include Children With Epilepsy

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Illinois: Governor Signs Measure Expanding Medical Marijuana Law To Include Children With Epilepsy

Springfield, IL: Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation into law this week that permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients diagnosed with epilepsy or other debilitating conditions characterized by intractable seizures.

Senate Bill 2636 also amends the state's nascent medical marijuana law, initially approved in 2013, to allow for minors with intractable forms of the disease to be eligible to obtain and consume cannabis. Patients diagnosed with other qualifying conditions must be over the age of 18 to legally participate in the state's program.

Survey data recently compiled by researchers at Stanford University indicates that components in the cannabis plant, specifically the anti-convulsant compound cannabidiol, mitigate seizure activity in children with treatment-resistant forms of the disease.

Although Illinois' medical cannabis program is not yet in operation, those seeking to participate in the program, including patients and providers, are expected to be able to begin applying for state-identification cards beginning in September. Qualified patients are expected to begin obtaining medical cannabis from state-licensed suppliers by spring 2015.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.