Medical marijuana now legal in Illinois

Aug 1, 2013

Illinois doctors could soon start prescribing marijuana to their patients. IPR’s Tony Arnold reports:

Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana at the University of Chicago, at a bustling news conference full of pomp and circumstance - and woo-ing.

But some like Pamela Jones - a nurse hanging out in the back - solemnly watched the ceremony. She lost her father to liver cancer recently - and says medicinal marijuana could have made him more comfortable while he was getting treatment:

"I think if this bill would have been in effect, maybe he would have been spared, he would’ve had a little bit of longevity in his life and possibly would’ve been able to live a more fulfilled life towards the end stages of his life."

Starting in January - doctors can prescribe marijuana to those diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, Rheumatoid arthritis - and a series of other illnesses. Supporters say Illinois’ law is strictly regulated to prevent those who just want pot for recreational use to get it from a medical dispensary. It could still be months after January before grow houses are set up and producing marijuana.