Illinois' medical marijuana law will soon be expanded to include the treatment of adults and children with epilepsy under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed Sunday.
“This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state,” Quinn said in a 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 new legislation, which takes effect January 1, tweaks the state's larger medical marijuana measure "to allow children under 18, with a parent’s consent, to be treated with non-smokable forms of medical marijuana for the same range of conditions now available to adults," a release from the governor's office reads. Seizures will also be added to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act's list of medical conditions legally allowed to be treated with medical marijuana.
“I have a 14 year-old constituent by the name of Hugh who lives with epilepsy,” said House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, a chief co-sponsor of the new legislation, SB 2636. “His parents, Bob and Kelly, want to provide their son with as much relief as possible. Unfortunately, traditional medications and methods have not worked. It’s our hope that this new law will provide much needed relief for Hugh and thousands of other children.”
Back in August, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, said to be one of the toughest medical marijuana bills in the country. The act sets up a four-year trial period during which medical marijuana can be prescribed to people with specific debilitating medical conditions. The state's proposed medial marijuana rules got the OK from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules earlier this month.
State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) sponsored the legislation that adds the treatment of adults and children with seizures to the state's larger medical marijuana measure.