Illinois Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana for Epileptic Adults and Children
Although the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program is still months away from being fully functional, the legislature has already approved a change to the program. Senate Bill 2636 (click here to view bill) amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act to add epileptic-type seizures to the list of debilitating medical conditions that are treatable with cannabis. It also allows patients under the age of 18 who suffer from epileptic seizures to use medical cannabis. We previously reported on this bill when it was favorably passed out of committee. The bill passed the full House by a vote of 98 to 18.
During prior committee hearings, the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) indicated he planned to offer further amendments to the bill that would prohibit children from smoking the medical cannabis. During the debate on the House floor, however, he admitted no such restriction had been added. Opponents voiced concern about the language of the bill allowing children to smoke or ingest edibles with medical marijuana. Opponents further questioned why the bill was not limited to the use of oil-based medical marijuana, only, for children. Lang indicated that the Department of Public Health would be responsible for creating and implementing rules that dealt with administration of the drug to children.