How Illinois' Medical Marijuana Act Works

STATELINE (WIFR) -- If you plan to be prescribed pot, be prepared for a paper trail. Doctors are required to tell the Illinois Department of Public Health why you need it. Only people over 18 who don't have a criminal record and pass a background check qualify for a medical marijuana ID card. Once it's issued, all your information will be stored in a state database.

In most cases, doctors can only prescribe two-and-a-half ounces in a two week period. If for some reason law enforcement questions your ability to possess marijuana, a note of your privileges will be attached to your driving record. The same goes for a patient's caregiver.

The medical marijuana grown in Illinois can only be sold in Illinois, and there will only be 22 official growing sites in the state. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will monitor those cultivation centers. They'll be under 24 hour surveillance and must have a security plan that's approved by State Police. Plus, they can only sell to licensed dispensaries. There will be 60 of those in Illinois. In order to run a growing site or a dispensary, you have to undergo a background check and submit fingerprints. All sites are subject to random inspections.

Lot of companies have a zero tolerance drug policy, so even if you are approved to have a medical marijuana card, you could still get in trouble at work. Not all of the rules for medical marijuana are set down in stone yet. The law doesn't take effect until next January and the various agencies have 4 months from then to submit their rules.

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