Chicago Office Advertising Medical Marijuana Opens
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Chicago Office Advertising Medical Marijuana Opens
Posted by CN Staff on August 07, 2013 at 19:54:59 PT
By Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune Reporter
Source: Chicago Tribune
Illinois -- The sign in the window of the office building in West Town was enough to bring in a steady stream of potential customers. Its message read: “Medical marijuana may be right for you.” Wednesday was opening day for the office of Brian Murray, a general practice physician who said he runs a clinic in Michigan where qualified patients can receive medical marijuana. But the new Illinois law allowing medical marijuana won’t provide anyone with the drug until next year.
The Illinois law, signed this month by Gov. Pat Quinn, allows for the legal possession, use and sale of marijuana for some 40 medical conditions, including HIV, AIDS, cancer and other diseases. It is far more restrictive than laws in some other states, which allow use of the drug for catch-all categories like chronic pain.The Illinois law requires that patients have an existing relationship with a physician who can provide documentation to support his or her medical need to use the drug, which remains a federally banned substance.Murray said opening the clinic now makes it possible to establish a meaningful doctor-patient relationship for clients who may not have another doctor.But some who walked into the office Wednesday simply had questions about the law’s details, or wanted to find out how to open a distribution center. None asked to buy marijuana on the spot, said Daniel Reid, a spokesman for the office.What the clinic offered was a chance to file medical histories and fill out a background form for Murray, who said he would later consider helping them qualify for medical marijuana. On Wednesday, the clinic charged some people a $99 fee for an individual care plan that would later be formulated.Even qualified patients are expected to have a long wait before getting their hands on the drug. The new law, which sets up a four-year trial program, takes effect Jan. 1 and requires state regulators to spend months coming up with rules that spell out who gets to open the 22 marijuana growing operations across the state – and how patients will get medical marijuana cards from doctors. It could be fall 2014 before patients legally use marijuana in Illinois.Some visitors to the West Town office said they found out about the clinic through news reports that called it the state’s “first medical marijuana clinic.”Stuart Bander, 50, who said he’s been suffering from multiple sclerosis for 20 years, was disappointed with the staff’s answers to his questions about the law.“I know more than they do,” he said. “They’re doing nothing.”But others, such as Jackson Delgado of Chicago, said they hoped to have a chance to sit down with Murray.Delgado, 25, said he did not have a regular primary-care physician and hoped to get medical marijuana to treat his insomnia. But that is not one of the listed ailments covered by the law.“I don’t want to see anybody that uses any kind of chemical (drug),” Delgado said. “I want to go natural.”Tammy Jacobi, an assistant to Murray, staffed the clinic Wednesday and made copies of medical histories that people brought in. She also gave out information about medical marijuana side effects.Jacobi, who said she works with Murray in Michigan, explained that if people already had their own primary-care physicians, they should go to them first.“... If they have any trouble, then they can come here, or if they don’t have a primary-care physician, then they can also come here,” Murray said, adding that the clinic will act as a “pathway for (patients) to get certified” for medical marijuana when it becomes available.Murray praised marijuana’s medical benefits but said there’s no promise his new clients will ever get their hands on the drug.“That’s up to the state,” Murray said.Just before the clinic closed for the day on Wednesday, two men who said they were from the state medical board showed up and met privately with Murray.When asked about the meeting, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Susan Hofer, said she could not confirm that anyone from the department had been sent to the office.Hofer said that because rules for the “prior relationship” with the doctor who helps a patient qualify to receive medical marijuana haven’t been established yet, nobody can say whether what’s going on at this clinic would qualify as a prior relationship when the law goes into effect.Jacobi said she hoped the 75-some patients who filed paperwork with Murray’s office on Wednesday would help persuade state officials to move faster on implementing the law.“We want to keep sick people out of the back alleys for getting their medicine,” Jacobi said.Tribune reporters Mitch Smith and Peter Frost contributed. Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author:   Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune ReporterPublished: August 7, 2013Copyright: 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLCWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on August 08, 2013 at 07:17:29 PT
ON now
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