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Medical Marijuana Patients Frustrated by Challenges Delaying Illinois Program

A year and a half after Illinois lawmakers voted to legalize medical marijuana, Marla Levi is still waiting.

Levi has multiple sclerosis, uses a wheelchair and said she ingests marijuana to help her manage the symptoms. If she wants to continue, she’ll have to get it on the street, because medical marijuana in Illinois isn’t expected to be available for several more months.

A series of snafus has delayed the rollout of the program. Now lawsuits challenging the licensing process are further complicating efforts, and a judge has granted a court order delaying the issuance of one cultivation license until the mess can be straightened out.

Ultimately, while the delay could cost businesses money, advocates who have pushed for medical pot legalization in Illinois say it’s the patients who are paying the steeper price. People with cancer, AIDS or other serious or life-threatening illnesses — even those who, like Levi, have already been approved to use the drug — must continue to wait to get the medication, which many say relieves the side effects of their conditions.  [Read more at the Chicago Tribune]


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