We are devoted to helping patients, doctors, growers and dispensaries become legal and stay legal in the complex and new arena of medical marijuana laws in Illinois. We help you to understand the new regulations and help to explain and simplify the process for state card holders, growers and dispensary ownership applications.
The new state laws are confusing, which is why you should rely on the help of a qualified legal team in order to avoid potential problems that may arise when exercising your state rights. Although medical marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2013, the laws are the strictest among the twenty-three states who have allowed marijuana use of any type. Possession of marijuana continues to be illegal in the majority of the United States, and remains illegal under federal law.
Even though medical cannabis is now legal in Illinois, you can still get fired for using it. Pending in the Colorado State Supreme Court is a question of whether workers’ off duty use of cannabis is protected under state law. The lower courts ruled in favor of the employer. (http://www.thedailychronic.net /2013/17469/Colorado-appeals-court-rules-employers-can-fire-marijuana-users/).
The case involves a quadriplegic medical cannabis patient using cannabis for his muscle spasms. That worker was fired by Dish Networks after failing a drug test even after off premises use and no signs of impairment. The pending decision by the Colorado’s Supreme Court has far reaching implications for us in Illinois on how employers can treat employees who test positive for cannabis. Colorado, like most states, has a zero tolerance for workers testing positive for cannabis.
Other state Supreme Courts, California, Montana and Washington have ruled in favor of the employer. However, in Arizona the law states that an employer cannot punish an employee for lawfully using medical cannabis unless that would jeopardize the employer’s Federal Contract.
It is a certainty that a similar case ultimately will reach the Illinois Supreme Court. It is just a matter of time before an Illinois employee will be terminated for having a positive drug test with state approved medical cannabis. Just because other states allow employers to terminate workers for legal ingestion of cannabis, it is too early to determine whether Illinois will side with the employer or employee. Patients in Illinois will not receive medical cannabis till mid-year of 2015.
The new law allows the user no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana over a two week period. This 2.5 ounce limit is for those who ingest it, not smoke it, such as in baked goods. It will also be vaporized in efficient aerosol devices.
Patients will shop at one of 60 dispensing centers throughout the state and are not allowed to grow their own. The cultivation process will be heavily monitored. There will be 22 cultivation centers registered within the state.
The law allows for a four-year pilot medical marijuana program starting January 1, 2014. To be eligible to take part in the program you must have a serious disease, such as cancer, HIV, MS, lupus, brain injury, etc. Locate a doctor in Central Illinois who understands the importance of marijuana as a viable medical tool for the treatment of your condition.