(CBS) — Governor Pat Quinn has expanded who is able to use marijuana for medical purposes in Illinois, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.
The state enacted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act last year but it didn’t include children with epilepsy. Governor Quinn signed legislation Sunday to change that, starting in January.
“This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state,” Governor Quinn said. “Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, and this much needed relief will help to reduce some of its symptoms for those who endure seizures. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act is now designed to help our fellow citizens of all ages by allowing its strictly controlled use for specific medical conditions.”
Quinn was flanked by over a dozen children who have epilepsy.
Adam Frederick says the new law will mean his family can move back to Washington, Illinois.He temporarily relocated his job to Denver, so that his two-year-old daughter Michaela could take cannabis under Colorado’s medical marijuana laws..
Frederick says his daughter has been able to cut in half the number of prescription drugs she’s on for epileptic seizures, that she once experienced 40 to 50 times a day.
He says consuming pot has lead to an 80 percent reduction in seizures and she’s more alert and showing signs of her personality.
Illinois was the 21st state to enact a medical marijuana law when it did so last year, according to a statement from the governors’ office.
But the measure did not include children among those who could use medicinal pot to get relief from conditions such as cancer, glaucoma and AIDs.
Children must have a doctor’s prescription and their parent’s consent to have the cannabis.
Just last week, a state legislative panel approved rules for a medical marijuana pilot program in Illinois.