cannabis

Marcia O'Connor, Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, fishnets, paper, car parts, fuel and much more. It’s an unruly crop. It’s skinny, it’s tall, but what has made it controversial is that it’s a derivative of the cannabis plant.

Flickr: Cannabis Culture / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved a measure allowing the use of cannabis as an alternative to opioids. Under the plan, patients could get immediate -- but temporary -- access to cannabis with just a doctor’s certification. 

CL DESIGN LLC / Maribis

The state’s medical cannabis pilot program  has three more years before it is set to expire. Despite the looming deadline, dispensaries continue to open across the state, offering treatment alternatives to patients with cancer, PTSD, Lupus—and many other health conditions.

Amanda Vinicky

A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program. The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

More than 10,000 Illinois residents are certified to use marijuana for medical purposes; Kyla Travis, a Springfield resident who has multiple sclerosis, is one of them.

"I'm almost 60 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 17. So for these many years, they had me on opiates," she says.

Wikimedia Commons/user: Bogdan

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is open to decriminalizing marijuana.

Rauner has a goal of reforming the criminal justice system. One way to do that, advocates say: issuing civil penalties for low-level drug charges.