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Jon Loevy, a notable civil rights attorney in Illinois, says that if his group is allowed to open up a legal medical marijuana farm they will donate half of their earnings to education initiatives around the state.
“Illinois has created a real opportunity for profits, and a lot of the groups chasing this are hedge funds and private equity firms trying to get rich,” Loevy told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We see this as an opportunity to reroute millions of dollars to education in Illinois when it’s really needed.

Officials at Chicago’s Swedish Covenant Hospital say they want to be the first legal medical marijuana dispensary in the state. Illinois approved a medical cannabis “pilot program” in 2013, allowing for hospitals in the state to act as legal pot dispensaries. So far, none have shown much interest and medical cannabis sales aren’t likely to begin until next year at the earliest.
“We have professionals who very much would like to prescribe those drugs, we have the system in place to manage it and we have the patient population that needs it,” Marcia Jimenez, director of intergovernmental affairs for Swedish, told the Sun-Times. “It just made a lot of sense.

Starting in August 2012, police in Chicago have had the ability to cite those caught with 15 grams of pot or less with a $250-$500 ticket, take the herb and let that person on their way. The police haven’t been doing that, though.
According to a study by Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, 93 percent of the misdemeanor pot possession charges in the city involved an arrest.

A Chicago doctor could face a suspended or repealed medical license after the state regulatory board accused him of taking fees for “pre-approval” medical marijuana consultations with patients even before the state program is officially underway.
Dr. Brian Murray charged patients a $99 fee for an initial clinic visit needed to establish a “legitimate physician-patient relationship” as required under Illinois law. According to a Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed Monday, the fee is “misleading” and falls under state medical malpractice laws.

Graphic: The Fresh Scent

​The Illinois House on Tuesday defeated a measure that would have made Illinois the 16th state to allow patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval.

The medical marijuana bill got 53 votes, but needed  60 to pass, report Ray Long and Monique Garcia at the Chicago Tribune. Voting against the bill were 59 lawmakers, and one voted “Present.”
The measure was aimed at helping people with cancer, AIDS and other illnesses have a better quality of life, particularly after doctors have tried multiple medications that have not helped, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

Photo: Chicago Reader
Rep. Lou Lang: “Ultimately, this is a health care bill. It’s not a bill about drugs. I’m here for people’s health and pain.”

​Illinois residents with chronic health conditions which can be alleviated by marijuana are urging state lawmakers to let their state join 14 others, including Michigan and New Jersey, that have legalized cannabis use for medicinal purposes.

The Illinois House adjourned Friday before acting on legislation legalizing medical marijuana which has already passed the state Senate, reports Dean Olsen at The State Journal-Register. But advocates say they will continue to push for Senate Bill 1381, which they say safeguards against abuse of medical marijuana and criminal involvement in growing and distributing the herb.
The usual opponents, including, of course, law enforcement organizations, have lined up in opposition to the bill, citing the same, tired old arguments against medical marijuana.
“There’s a lot of stuff in marijuana that’s not good for you,” claimed Limey Nargelenas, a lobbyist for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
“It’s like people taking meth,” Nargelenas said in one of the most ridiculous statements ever made about medical pot. “People feel a lot better after ingesting methamphetamine.”

Photo: Chicago Reader

​Medical marijuana is one vote away from becoming law in Illinois.

The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), said Saturday that he is working behind the scenes to line up the needed votes, and is just waiting for the right moment to call it for a vote in the Illinois House, reports Bob Roberts at Chicago’s WBBM.
If the measure passes and is signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois will become the 15th state to allow medicinal use of cannabis, which has been illegal in Illinois since the 1930s.