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If you live in the state of Illinois, have one of the state’s recognized qualifying conditions, and have a last name that begins with a letter that falls between A and L, then Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014, is the first day you can register with the state for the new Illinois medical marijuana program.
In theory, registration begins on the Illinois Department of Public Health website this morning, but the site was unavailable for some time, possibly due to high traffic from people attempting to register this morning. Actual details of the registration process had not yet been released but were reportedly going to be available to the public via the site this morning.
UPDATE: As of 10:11 EST, the Department of Health website is online again, with a link to the state’s Medical Cannabis program’s newly launched application site. The medical cannabis site is currently not loading, but should be available shortly. Those unable to apply online can print the application for patients here or caregivers here (along with a physician certification form for patients that must be mailed by the physician and a fingerprint consent form) and mail their application to:
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Medical Cannabis
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
If your last name begins with a letter that falls between M-Z, you will have to wait until November 1st to begin the registration process. By then, the application process will likely have been demystified and adjusted for the issues that will happen during the early stages of rollout, making the longer wait perhaps worthwhile for those whose surnames fall in the latter half of the alphabet.
If you live in the state and are wondering if you qualify, you will need to have a doctor willing to certify that you have qualifying condition that may respond well to medical marijuana.
Qualifying conditions in Illinois include:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomelia
- Cachemia/wasting syndrome
- Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
- Crohn’s Disease
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II)
- Fibromyalgia (severe)
- Fibrous dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-concussion Syndrome
- RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I)
- Residual Limb Pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy (beginning January 1, 2015)
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Spinal cord disease, including, but not limited to, arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
For more information about the state of Illinois’ pilot program for medical marijuana, you can look at the state’s FAQ page, which includes information about conditions, the application process, and the veteran program. Sadly, the list of conditions does not include Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition which affects a significant number of combat veterans and unquestionably contributes to the staggering rate of suicide among veterans. There is, however, a straightforward process for adding new conditions to the list of qualifying medication conditions, so veterans and others with PTSD have the possibility of correcting that oversight in the upcoming months.
Congratulations to the citizens of the state of Illinois as they move one step closer to a legal, state-run medical cannabis program.
Photo Credit: Royal Norwegian Information Service under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons