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medical marijuana, Kane County drug crimes defense lawyerLast week, an Illinois House panel called The House Elementary Education Committee unanimously approved legislation which would allow school children to consume medical marijuana in school. The proposed legislation would allow a parent or legal guardian to administer infused medical marijuana on school grounds and in school-owned transportation.

Medical Marijuana Prevents Student’s Seizures

House Bill 4870 was largely influenced by a lawsuit brought by parents of a child who has seizures. The girl suffers from seizures after undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and medical marijuana is the only medication which effectively controls them. The parents sued the school because they were not allowed to change their daughter’s medical marijuana patch or administer medical marijuana oil under her tongue on school grounds. As the law currently stands, a school nurse could lose his or her license if they administered medical marijuana to a student – even if the student has a valid medical marijuana card. Although it is unlikely, the student and her parents could face criminal prosecution for sending the girl to school with a medical marijuana patch. Advocates of the bill say that this is unacceptable.

Only Medical Cannabis Will Be Included in Bill

The proposed legislation does not allow students to smoke marijuana in the schools. Parents are only allowed to administer infused products to their children. This includes food, oils, or other products which contain medical marijuana but are not smoked. If the bill passes the full House and is eventually signed by the governor, schools will be required to allow parents and legal guardians to administer medical marijuana to their children in school. Children must have a valid pre-approved medical marijuana card in order to qualify for this opportunity.

The measure is sponsored by State Representative Lou Lang. He said of the bill, "Before anyone sets their hair on fire about medical marijuana in school, it&s important to understand that tots won&t be toking up in class. Discreet, private locations in a school will set aside for parents to administer the product and have no impact on anyone else in the building." Colorado, New Jersey, Maine and Washington state already allow students to use medical marijuana at school.

Experienced Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

To be clear, marijuana of any kind, including medical cannabidiol is currently not allowed in schools. If you or your child has been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an attorney who will help you understand your rights and protect your freedom. Call 847-488-0889 to speak with a skilled Elgin drug crimes defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/skokie/community/chi-ugc-article-medical-marijuana-administered-in-schools-by-2018-03-12-story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/22/health/medical-marijuana-school-illinois/index.html

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study, Elgin drug crimes defense attorneyWhen the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program finally got underway in late 2015, Illinois lawmakers hoped that legalizing marijuana for those with approved medical conditions would have positive results. The main goal of the program was to help such patients alleviate pain and to deal with chronic health problems while reducing the need for highly-addictive opioid prescriptions. A new peer-reviewed study suggests that the pilot program seems to be working.

Limited Study Participants

The limited-scale survey was conducted by researchers at DePaul University and Rush University and included responses from 30 patients currently registered for the Illinois medical marijuana program. The project, while small, is the first peer-reviewed, published study regarding medical marijuana use in Illinois specifically. The study’s authors acknowledge that the survey was not large enough to extrapolate percentages or quantified conclusions, the response received did provide anecdotal support for other studies that suggest medical cannabis may help reduce the use of opioids.

The participants were all volunteers, which led the researchers to note that the subjects’ opinions may skew in favor of marijuana, but the feedback provided much needed qualitative information about how the drug is being used so future studies can be done with better accuracy.

An Alternative to Prescription Painkillers

The average age of the participants was 45, and most used marijuana for chronic pain, seizures, or inflammation. They anonymously reported that they had numerous concerns about tolerance, side effects, and addiction when it came to prescription drugs. Marijuana, overall, was reported to manage certain symptoms better, faster, and for longer periods of time than prescription medications. Subjects claimed that using marijuana helped a number of them eliminate the need for prescriptions that were "frightening" and could make a patient feel like a "zombie."

The study’s lead author is presently working on another project that has already accumulated more than 10 times the number of responses. With about 25,000 registered participants statewide, larger studies will certainly be needed to gauge the pilot program’s success.

Facing Drug Charges?

Possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana is still a criminal offense for those who are not registered to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with marijuana possession, you need an advocate who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin drug crimes defense attorney to discuss your case. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.ilnews.org/news/health/study-illinois-patients-use-medical-marijuana-as-an-alternative-to/article_f48f5ec4-ad30-11e7-b2c0-67588c6d9d39.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-medical-marijuana-illinois-study-painkillers-met-20171008-story.html

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medical marijuana, Kane County criminal defense attorneyDespite taking nearly two years to get underway, the medical marijuana test program is off and running around Illinois. State officials are reporting that February was the program’s best month to date, with sales numbers approaching $1.5 last month. This brings total sales revenue to more than $4.4 million since the statewide program launched on November 9, 2015.

Increased Availability

When sales of medical marijuana first began in November, it started on a very small scale, with only a handful of registered dispensaries open for business. Today, the number of licensed retail outlets in the state has more than quadrupled, with 29 dispensaries now open, including two that just opened their doors in February. Most notably, one of the largest facilities in the state began operation in Springfield last month, making medical marijuana legally available in the state capital for the first time.

Growing Registration Lists

Joseph Wright, the director of the medical marijuana program—officially called the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program—announced that more than 3,000 individuals purchased products in February. He also indicated that about 4,800 patients have been approved for the program, meaning that only about 63 percent of registered users made purchases.

To qualify for participation, a patient must have been diagnosed with one of approximately three dozen medical conditions set forth in the law, including:

  • Cancer;
  • Glaucoma;
  • HIV or AIDS;
  • Hepatitis C;
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Muscular dystrophy;
  • Traumatic brain injury; and
  • Many more.

Several efforts over the last few months to add additional qualifying conditions to the approved list have been unsuccessful. Depending on the program’s perceived success, however, future consideration may be given to expanding the list.

Unlicensed Use Still a Crime

Along with the efforts to widen the participant base, initiatives in Springfield also sought to decriminalize minor marijuana possession, making the offense similar to a traffic ticket. While the bill did successfully pass the House and Senate, it was amended by Governor Bruce Rauner and sent back, essentially stalling the measure for now. This means that possession of marijuana without a valid medical marijuana registration card is against the law. Depending on the amount and your suspected intentions, potential penalties for a conviction can range from probation and fines up to significant prison terms.

If you have been arrested and charged with possession or distribution of marijuana, it is important to seek qualified legal counsel immediately. Contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney today to explore your available options. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today. Do not delay; your future may depend on it.

Sources:

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2016/03/01/illinois-medical-marijuana-sales-nearly-1-5m-in-february/

http://foxillinois.com/news/local/medical-marijuana-dispensary-opens-in-springfield-02-16-2016

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503

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DEA chief, medical marijuana, Elgin drug crimes defense attorneyThe acting head of the federal agency tasked with enforcing the nation’s laws against illicit drug use is under attack after comments he made to reporters last week regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chuck Rosenberg ignited a major controversy in a briefing that coincided with the release of the 2015 Drug Threat Assessment Summary, which showed an increase in illegal drug use for most substances, with the exception of cocaine. The report also observes that the use of marijuana is still technically illegal under federal law, despite decriminalization and medical marijuana legislation being passed in various states.

No Joking Matter

In his statements, Rosenberg took offense to the idea that marijuana could be medicinal, "because it’s not," he said. "We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine—that is a joke."

As news of Rosenberg’s remarks went public, offended citizens around the country responded. A change.org petition was quickly launched calling for the acting DEA chief’s resignation or for President Obama to relieve Rosenberg of his duties. To date, the petition has garnered more than 37,000 electronic signatures.

Scientific Indications

Proponents of medical marijuana consistently point to research that suggests that marijuana does have medicinal properties for a number of conditions. In particular, an analysis of nearly 80 medical marijuana studies, including more than 6,000 patients, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this year, finding "moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity." A growing number of medical professionals, including the American Medical Association, reject the federal government’s continued inclusion of marijuana on the Schedule 1 list of controlled substance, which indicates that there is "no currently accepted medical use."

Spin Control

A DEA spokesperson, in an emailed statement, attempted to clarify Rosenberg’s comments. The spokesman stated that acting Administrator Rosenberg meant that if marijuana was to be considered a medicine, it should be subject to the same protocols—i.e. FDA approval—as other drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Medical Marijuana in Illinois

The controversy, as luck would have it, has made national headlines at the same time that the medical marijuana program in Illinois finally gets underway. Earlier this week, six approved dispensaries opened their doors to registered, qualified patients for the first time, more than two years after the legislation outlining the program was passed. Its impact on the state remains to be seen, but, surely, state officials and federal regulators will be keeping a close eye on its progress.

If you have been charged with any type of marijuana-related offense, you need the help of an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney. Contact the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule an appointment and get the reliable, affordable legal representation you need to protect your future.

Sources:

http://time.com/4107603/dea-medical-marijuana-joke-2/

http://www.dea.gov/docs/2015%20NDTA%20Report.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/10/the-dea-chief-called-medical-marijuana-a-joke-now-patients-are-calling-for-his-resignation/

https://www.change.org/p/obama-fire-dea-head-for-calling-medical-marijuana-a-joke

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-medical-marijuana-first-day-met-20151108-story.html

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marijuana, cannabis, Illinois Drug Crimes AttorneyAfter nearly two years of bureaucratic delays and litigation over licensing, Illinois finally seems poised to get its medical marijuana pilot program off the ground. Throughout the summer, approved cultivation centers have been preparing their first legally-produced crops in anticipation of harvesting them and making them available to dispensaries as early as this month. A company planning to get into the cultivation business, however, may be in hot water with the state over an announced public outreach campaign.

Public Marketing

Cresco Labs, while looking to open cultivation centers in Joliet, Kankakee, and Lincoln, recently unveiled marketing plans designed to spread the message regarding medical marijuana in print ads, billboards, radio spots, social media, and health publication notices. The more visual advertisements feature the shape of Illinois prominently with healthy lifestyle images, along with messages like "Welcome to a state of relief." The company logo is also present along with a referral to Cresco’s website for more information.

Possible Violation

According to state officials, growers of medical cannabis are not permitted to publically advertise in the state. Dispensaries are permitted to advertise within compliance with certain regulations, including proximity to schools and more, but cultivating centers are prohibited from doing by the Department of Agriculture. Rob Sampson, Cresco’s president, however, claims that the outreach campaign is not about promoting his company’s products. "[It] is about educating patients and doctors that there are new forms of medical relief in Illinois and directing them to our website to use as a portal for applying," he said. Sampson insists that the $1 million effort is to promote the state’s entire program, and therefore, within the regulatory guidelines.

Department of Agriculture spokesperson Rebecca Clark acknowledged that officials are aware of the ads, have seen them, and are currently considering options regarding enforcement. "The department may assess monetary fines or other conditions for rule violations," she said in an email.

Legal Help for Marijuana-Related Concerns

While some 3,000 medical marijuana applicants await the harvesting of the first legally-available crops, criminal charges for illegal marijuana possession are still very possible in Illinois. If you are facing any type of drug charge, contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. We will meet with you to discuss your case and explore all of your available options. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free initial consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-medical-marijuana-campaign-met-20150930-story.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503&ChapterID=35

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/10/01/ill-marijuana-ccompanys-1m-ad-campaign-draws-scrutiny/

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