Quinn signs bill to expand access to medical marijuana in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Sunday that will expand access to the state’s medical marijuana program.
SB 2636, sponsored by Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, expands the qualifying conditions of the program to include seizure disorders, such as epilepsy and those associated with brain injuries. Illinois is now one of 23 states with workable medical marijuana programs that allow the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of seizure disorders.
“Medical marijuana is an effective treatment option for people suffering from seizure disorders,” Lindsey said. “As more elected officials become familiar with its medical benefits, more states will adopt laws that allow it.”
SB 2636 will also allow the health department to develop rules so that minors may participate in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program if they receive parental consent in addition to recommendations from their physicians. Illinois was one of three states with workable medical marijuana programs that prohibit minors from participating.
“We applaud Gov. Quinn and the legislature for adopting this compassionate and much-needed legislation,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It comes as a relief to countless patients and their families, many of whom tirelessly advocated for the new law. It will improve the quality of life for many Illinois residents.”