Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act

On August 2, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and as of January 1, 2014, the Act established a four-year pilot program in Illinois that authorizes the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis for the use of registered qualifying patients (RQPs). These patients are those who have certain specified debilitating medical conditionsand obtain state registration cards.

medical marijuanaDebilitating medical conditions include 40 chronic diseases and conditions that include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Are “medical” and “street” marijuana different?
In principle, no. Most marijuana sold in dispensaries as medicine is the same quality and carries the same health risks as marijuana sold on the street.

However, given the therapeutic interest in cannabidiol (CBD) to treat certain conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, strains with a higher than normal CBD:THC ratio have been specially bred and sold for medicinal purposes; these may be less desirable to recreational users because they have weaker psychoactive effects.

Cannabinoids in medicine
Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. In 2700 BCE, Shen Neng, Chinese Emperor and father of Chinese medicine, used cannabis as a remedy. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, also mentions cannabis. It was written in 1500 BCE and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical works known.

Two FDA-approved drugs, Dronabinol and Nabilone, contain THC and are used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting disease (extreme weight loss) caused by AIDS.

For more information about marijuana, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers
Every year Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment helps thousands of adults and teens get their life back on track and gives renewed hope to those who care about them. With 50 years of treatment experience, our specialists take the time to understand of the specific needs of each individual. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual's substance abuse and mental health history. As the largest provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway has 11 treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment programs are not one-size fits all, but unique treatment plans that give an individual the highest chance for a successful outcome. With insurance acceptance and a track record of success, Gateway Treatment Centers help thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment each year, and find the hope they need to live again.

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