Children in Illinois with epilepsy will now be able to use medical marijuana for treatment.
Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation Sunday in Chicago. The law adds seizures to the list of treatable conditions in Illinois' medical cannabis program. It allows children with seizures from epilepsy to consume oil from the marijuana plant with a parent's consent.
Currently, only Illinois residents 18 years and older may use medical marijuana in the state's four–year pilot program. Parents of children with epilepsy say consuming the oil reduces seizures and doesn't have some of the negative side effects of other traditional drugs used for treatment.
Opponents of the measure say they disagree with further legalizing marijuana. The state recently set in to place several of the regulations for the pilot program. Medical Marijuana is expected to be available to patients next year.
The expansion provision to provide for cannabis oil for minors with epilepsy takes effect in January.