Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn (D)

Illinois has become the 20th state to adopt medical marijuana. After months of waiting, Governor Pat Quinn (D) has finally signed the medical marijuana bill approved by the Illinois legislature back in May. Quinn signed the bill in a public ceremony at the University of Chicago surrounded by individuals who should benefit from the new law.

The bill, HB 1, creates a four year medical marijuana pilot program in the state for individuals with a specific list of serious medical conditions. Patients who get a recommendation from their doctor will be able registered with the Department of Public Health. A registered medical marijuana patient will legally be able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.

Registered patients will be able to buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries but will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis at home. The law caps the number of dispensaries that will be allowed in the state at 60.

Illinois is the second state this year to adopt medical marijuana. Just last month New Hampshire adopted a similar law.

The law will officially take effect starting at the beginning of next year.

Photo by RoyFocker12 released under Creative Commons License

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at