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Illinois expands medical marijuana law for children with seizures

Medical marijuana is now legal in Illinois.
Medical marijuana is now legal in Illinois.
M. Itchenberry

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Sunday, July 20, signed a bill that will expand access to the state’s medical marijuana program to treat those suffering from seizures.

Senate Bill 2636, sponsored by state Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, expands the qualifying conditions of the program to include adults and children with seizure disorders, such as epilepsy and those associated with brain injuries. Illinois is now one of 23 states with workable medical marijuana programs that allow the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of seizure disorders.

“Medical marijuana is an effective treatment option for people suffering from seizure disorders,” said Chris Lindsey, of the Marijuana Policy Project. “As more elected officials become familiar with its medical benefits, more states will adopt laws that allow it.”

S.B. 2636 will also allow the health department to develop rules so that minors may participate in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program if they receive parental consent in addition to recommendations from their physicians. Illinois was one of three states with workable medical marijuana programs that prohibit minors from participating.

“We applaud Gov. Quinn and the legislature for adopting this compassionate and much-needed legislation,” Lindsey said. “It comes as a relief to countless patients and their families, many of whom tirelessly advocated for the new law. It will improve the quality of life for many Illinois residents.”

The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. Learn more at

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