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  • January 1 2014

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    Illinois Medical Marijuana Program Takes Effect

    After 10 years of hard work, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program takes effect today. This is an important milestone for seriously ill patients and a testament to the effort of countless people!

    Over the next four months, the three regulatory agencies overseeing the program will hold public hearings and establish rules and forms. The timing has not been established yet, but official statements by at least one agency have indicated that cultivation applications may be accepted in the fall. Importantly, patients are not protected by the law until they have registered in the state registry, which will not be open until this spring at the earliest.

    In the meantime, the state has established a central website, which will contain updates and information on the state’s progress.

    An overview of the program is available here, and a two-page document specifically designed for patients to share with their physicians is also available. During the year, MPP will encourage the health department to add PTSD and debilitating pain to the list of qualifying conditions. If you have been diagnosed with either and would like to help, please email us at state@mpp.org. Please include your zip code.

    Congratulations and happy new year, Illinois.

  • January 1 2014

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    New Year, New World: Legal Marijuana Sales Begin in Colorado

    At eight o’clock this morning, Iraq War Veteran Sean Azzariti stepped up to the counter at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver and made the first ever legal marijuana purchase in the United States. He didn’t have to show a medical marijuana program card, proving he paid a fee and consulted a doctor, he simply flashed his driver’s license to confirm he was over 21 and bought his cannabis products. This is a first for Sean, who uses cannabis to treat his PTSD, as his ailment was not an authorized qualifying condition for the Colorado medical marijuana program.

    The first purchase? 3.5 grams of Bubba Kush and a marijuana infused truffle. Total cost? 58.74 with tax included ($40 plus tax for the Kush and $9.28 plus tax for the truffle. You can view his receipt he tweeted out here.)

    So far, the 34 stores that were open for business today are reporting massive lines, but no real problems. The sky has yet to fall, drivers aren’t crashing continuously into buildings, violence has not erupted in the streets. Maybe it is possible, after decades of scare mongering, that regulation just might be the better alternative after all? The program is still in it’s beginning stages, and will naturally need fine tuning along the way, but so far it is already looking like a widely better solution than prohibition ever was. Judging by the lines that extended far outside the door and around the building at all of the retail locations, Coloradans seem to be very eager to give regulation a chance. Let’s work together to ensure this program works and that it sets the shining example for all other states to follow in the coming years nationwide.

    Congratulations to Colorado and all those who worked so hard to get us to this point. It is truly a historic day.

    107A2753

  • January 1 2014

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