The battle to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois was very hard fought. After numerous failed attempts, Illinois' Legislature finally approved a medical marijuana bill last year. While the bill was better than nothing, it was a far cry from a true medical marijuana bill. The list of qualifying conditions was one of many deficiencies in the bill.
Fortunately for those suffering from epilepsy in Illinois, epilepsy has been added as one of the qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Illinois. Per the Huffington Post:
"This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state," Quinn said in statement. "Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, and this much-needed relief will help to reduce some of its symptoms for those who endure seizures."
The Illinois law, which takes effect in January, would allow children who experience seizures to be treated with non-smokable forms of cannabis, as long as they have permission from a parent.
"I have a 14-year-old constituent by the name of Hugh who lives with epilepsy," said Republican state lawmaker Jim Durkin, who co-sponsored the new law. "His parents, Bob and Kelly, want to provide their son with as much relief as possible. Unfortunately, traditional medications and methods have not worked."
This is a great improvement to the medical marijuana program in Illinois, and great news for those suffering from epilepsy. However, there's still a lot of work to be done to improve Illinois' program. If you live in Illinois, make sure to contact your legislator and keep the pressure on them to keep expanding the program. Keep doing so until every suffering patient gets the chance to use a safe form of medicine if they choose to.