Yes, minors can get a medical marijuana card in Illinois, considering that they do qualify to do so. The legislative General Assembly of Illinois passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Act back in 2013, legalizing the use of medical cannabis within the state. Today, almost ten years after that, both adults and minors qualify for a medical marijuana card.
Eligibility requirements for a medical marijuana card in Illinois
The eligibility requirements set by the state of Illinois are similar for both adult and minor qualifying patients with a few exceptions. Patients from both groups must be permanent residents of the state, as well as possess a valid medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed medical doctor.
From this point onward, eligibility requirements get changed a bit as the minor patients are required to be accompanied by a designated caregiver. The caregiver can aid the patient with marijuana possession, cultivation, and purchase. However, it is important to note that cannabis cultivation is not yet legal in the state of Illinois, even for qualifying patients.
Qualifying medical conditions
As per the state law, a patient must be diagnosed with one of the following qualifying medical conditions in order to be marked eligible for an Illinois medical marijuana card,
- Alzheimer’s disease
- ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Chronic inflammatory
- Demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Crohn’s disease
- CRPS (complex regional pain)
What exactly is a caregiver?
A caregiver is an individual assigned with the responsibility of aiding minor medical marijuana patients with tasks like cannabis possession and purchase. The state of Illinois is one such US state that allows minor patients to apply for a medical marijuana card with the help of a designated caregiver.
As per state law, the caregiver must be older than 21, have proof of permanent residence within the state, and must have a clear criminal record. The caregivers must also submit their relevant application separate from the qualifying patient.
Medical Marijuana Laws for minors in Illinois
Medical marijuana laws are the same for both adult and minor patients. Here are some prominent key points of these laws:
- Cannabis is decriminalized within the state and someone found in possession of cannabis without a valid medical marijuana card will face a misdemeanor charge along with financial fines being imposed.
- Public consumption of cannabis is strictly illegal.
- Driving under the influence or consuming cannabis while driving is strictly illegal and a punishable offense.
- Illinois business owners have the right to create their own cannabis-related policies and can even dismiss workers based on their cannabis use.
Even though the state of Illinois has an active medical marijuana program and does allow patients who are not yet 18 to apply for a medical marijuana card with a designated caregiver, the state needs to revise its cannabis laws. Some cannabis possession and consumption penalties are very strict. Plus, the state needs to focus on individual work rights for medical cannabis users.