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Our View: Creating the rules on medical marijuana

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 11:28 p.m. CDT

Municipalities throughout the state are mapping out rules and regulations for medical marijuana, and it’s a process that must be thorough and careful.

As of Jan. 1, the state Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act became law. It recognizes that those with certain medical conditions would qualify to be treated with medical cannabis. The details are still being determined, including where patients would be able to receive marijuana and where cultivation centers would be located.

While supporters might be eager to see the rules set in place and dispensation to begin, it’s important to note that the rules do not allow for the general legalization of marijuana.

The Illinois Department of Public Health spells out specific “debilitating medical conditions” that would qualify individuals to be treated with medical marijuana.

Among them are cancer, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy and traumatic brain injury.

This is not a green light for casual use of the drug, and those who will be able to use cannabis must be careful to avoid activities that could be dangerous if performed while under the influence.

In creating the regulations, governing bodies must consider places that would or would not be appropriate to serve as dispensation and cultivation sites.

Steps must be taken to be certain that use is restricted to the eligible medical conditions.

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