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Implementation of Illinois' Medical Marijuana Program Could Be Delayed for a Year or More

01/06/2014 12:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 08, 2014

As of January 1, Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program laws officially went into effect, but individuals that would qualify for the state's program may have to wait another year or more before they're able to utilize said laws.

The execution of the pilot program is being delayed by the state officials responsible for drafting the rules and regulations who claim they're taking the necessary time to thoroughly investigate the best way to implement a matter of such complexity.

"We do want to make sure we are being responsible," Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health explained.

A statement that was released in December by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation declared the obligatory rules could be completed by late 2014, but Arnold claims that she doesn't want to make calculations about exactly when the drafting of the regulations will be finished.

Unfortunately for those residents of Illinois that could truly benefit from the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the state's delay means the "four-year program" has been cut down to three years or less. Yup, that's right: Regardless of how long it takes the Department of Public Health to finish "being responsible," the program's proverbial clock has started to count down to zero.

The state is asking its residents interested in taking advantage of the new laws to exercise patience while they hammer out the crucial particulars. In fact, there is a message posted on the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website where you can track the state's progress that claims: "Members of the public should be aware that full implementation of MCPP will take time." Yeah, because that's all that people suffering with terminal diseases have, right, is time?

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