It has been a long road for medical marijuana patients in Illinois, and unless you suffer from a very short list of qualifying conditions, the road will be even longer. Illinois' very strict medical marijuana law takes effect today. Illinois doesn't allow home cultivation, and doesn't have any dispensaries open yet, so the law taking effect today is largely symbolic.
According to Illinois' medical marijuana law, patients will eventually be able to obtain up to "2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days and that is derived solely from an intrastate source." The phrase 'derived solely from an interstate source' is going to be the sticking point for medical marijuana patients in Illinois. There currently are no interstate sources, and without home gardens, it's going to be tough to get safe access, even after dispensaries open. Illinois will be a lot like New Jersey, where shortages are frequent, and safe access leaves a lot to be desired.
In order to become a patient in Illinois, you must suffer from one of the following conditions:
cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, including but not limited to arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibrous dysplasia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Parkinson's, Tourette's, Myoclonus, Dystonia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I), Causalgia, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II), Neurofibromatosis, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Sjogren's syndrome, Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, Hydrocephalus, nail-patella syndrome, residual limb pain, or the treatment of these conditions
If you live in Illinois and believe in safe access to medical cannabis, than you can see that your work is far from over. It's time to fight for a REAL medical marijuana program, which allows home cultivation and has many, many more qualifying conditions. The current program is obviously better than nothing, but it is far from where it should be.