Time Running Out For Medical Marijuana

Apr 21, 2015

Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Patients with certain illnesses are on their way to being able to use medical marijuana in Illinois, but time is running out.

As it stands now, Illinois' medical marijuana program is only set to continue for another two and a half years, and sick people haven't even been able to legally buy cannabis yet.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says that wasn't his intent; he'd wanted the program to last twice that long. Lang blames a delay in Illinois awarding licenses to firms to grow and sell cannabis.

"These licensees, who have put so much money into these businesses, will have to inflate their prices so that they can make their money back," he said. "That's certainly unfair to patients. And if prices are too high, patients will simply go back out onto the street to buy the product and it will hurt the program badly."

Lang proposes turning back the clock. He wants the program to run four years from the day the first pot dispensary opens. The House adopted the new start date, but Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says Illinois should wait and fully evaluate the program.