Illinois Becomes 20th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Illinois Becomes 20th State to Legalize Medical MarijuanaImage courtesy of Illinois Times

Just a few days after D.C. finally made medical marijuana legally available for purchase, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize it. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill at the University of Chicago today, and it will implement a four-year pilot program slated to begin on Jan. 1. The program would grant people suffering from diseases such as HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis a card allowing them to purchase up to two and a half ounces of marijuana from one of the 60 licensed dispensaries in the state.The bill also requires potential customers to obtain a doctor's permission to apply for the card.

The Associated Press reveaed other strict details of the bill: Home growing operations are prohibited and dispensaries will be under 24-hour surveillance. The latter is uncommon in other states, and over a dozen states allow homegrown establishments. 

These rules make the Illinois' among the nation's most stringent, but marijuana enthusiasts will be happy to know that the "weed belt" just added a new shade of green.

[via The Huffington Post and Associated Press]

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