Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

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Dispatches from the Highlands

Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana

October 24, 2017
Ashburn, VA
pat quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn

In another historic victory for patients, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) just signed MPP’s medical marijuana bill into law. This makes Illinois the 20th state to allow safe and legal access to medical marijuana!

The measure was approved in the Senate (35-21) on May 17 and in the House (61-57) on April 17. It was endorsed by the Illinois Nurses Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, and more than 270 doctors from across the state signed on to a statement in support of safe access to medical marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.

We put nearly 10 years of hard work into passing this bill. MPP deployed staffers to testify at hearings, hired lobbyists in the state capital, provided grants to local activist organizations, aired TV and radio ads, and mobilized supporters to put pressure on state legislators and the governor.

Once this law goes into effect, patients will be able to obtain marijuana at 60 dispensaries — which will be served by 22 grow locations — creating the third-largest, state-regulated medical marijuana system in the country.

This enactment of the Illinois law is MPP’s third major legislative achievement this year. (We also passed a medical marijuana bill in New Hampshire and a decriminalization measure in Vermont.)

As a result, 40% of the U.S. population now lives in states with workable medical marijuana laws, and 17 states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession. This is a huge feat, but we cannot rest yet!

Unfortunately, people in more than half of the states still face criminal penalties for marijuana possession — including medical marijuana patients.

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