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State-Run Website Educates Patients, Doctors About New Medical Marijuana Law

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Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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(CBS) – If someone told you a couple years ago there would be a website run by the state of Illinois to help people smoke marijuana you’d probably think they were high.

Yet such a website is up and running now.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

Julie Falco eats bits of a ginger snaps infused with marijuana at least three times a day. She discovered a few years ago it eases the pain of Multiple Sclerosis.

“As as soon as I wake up and try to get up on my walker, my legs are stiff as a board,” she says. “After I have my morning brownie or my morning cookie, that relaxes.”

Falco is among the advocates who fought for the legalization of medical marijuana. Not surprisingly, she’s a fan of a new state website, where potential patients can learn how to get a medical card.

Those interested in growing or selling marijuana or starting any other business related to the industry will also find information on the website.

Dr. Dennis Gates has recommended marijuana to half a dozen cancer patients and believes doctors will flock to the website.

“The subject is in the public’s eye now,” he says.

The new state law takes effect Jan. 1. It’s designed to tightly control subscriptions of medical marijuana – not marijuana for recreational use – for patients suffering from specified conditions, such as glaucoma.

State officials warned Illinoisans Monday against any claims by would-be cannabis clinics. Rules have not yet been approved for the new state law.

“Any physician advertising as a ‘medical cannabis clinic’ will immediately fall under the Department’s scrutiny. It may be appropriate for a specialist who treats one or more of the debilitating medical conditions to advertise that they are open to providing written authority,” the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said in a news release. “But, it is not appropriate for a physician to advertise that the purpose of the clinic is to provide such written authorization.”

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