November saw the long-awaited launch of the Illinois medical marijuana program. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was signed into law in August 2013 and went into effect on January 1, 2014. After almost two years of bureaucratic delays, doors to medical marijuana stores finally opened on November 9th. The pilot program is slated to end on January 1, 2018.
There is currently a list of 37 approved medical conditions for which a person can receive medical marijuana. These conditions include:
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS);
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS);
- Muscular Dystrophy (MD);
- Parkinson’s disease; and
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Recently, the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board made a recommendation to add several more qualifying medical conditions to the existing list. Any additional qualifying medical conditions must be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). One of the conditions which was recommended was Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
PTSD is a condition which occurs after a person has gone through an incident or incidents in which physical harm or the threat of physical harm occurred. The person themselves may have been a victim or they may have witnessed the violence occur to someone else. Many war veterans are victims of PTSD, however, it can also develop in people who have been victims or witnesses to murder, rape, child abuse, crashes, or acts of terrorism.
Despite the advisory board’s unanimous decision for PTSD to be added to the list of qualifying medical conditions, the IDPH rejected the recommendation and did not add it, leaving PTSD sufferers to continue to seek other treatment methods.
Taking a Legal Stand
However, one veteran afflicted with PTSD has decided to fight back and gain the right to legally obtain marijuana to help with his medical condition. The man has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against the IDPH and its director. According to the man’s attorney, four other PTSD patients also plan to file lawsuits against the state for refusing to add PTSD, stating that not only did the department totally disregard the advisory board’s recommendation, they failed to provide a reason for doing so.
Possession of marijuana without a valid medical use registration card is still a crime in the the state of Illinois. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, or any other drug crime, contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates at 630-933-8400 today for a free consultation.