In Part I of my discussion on the Illinois Medical Cannabis Act we covered the purpose of the Act along with the medical conditions covered by the Act. In Part II of my discussion, I covered the supply chain that Illinois will establish to control the flow of medical cannabis to the end users. The full title of the Act is “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”. In this third part, we’re going to discuss the next section of the Act which covers the prohibitions on medical marijuana, specifically when and where it cannot be used.
Section 30 of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Act sets forth the prohibitions on the use of medical cannabis in Illinois. There actually is some common sense language at the beginning that covers general use. 410 ILCS 130/30(a)(1) states that no person shall be immune from liability or prosecution for “undertaking any task under the influence of cannabis, when doing so would constitute negligence, professional malpractice, or professional misconduct.” This means that people can be prosecuted, or sued for civil damages, if their use of medical cannabis is criminal or a proximate cause of negligence.”
From the civil side this means that, for example, if you operate heavy machinery you shouldn’t do it when you’re taking cannabis. It opens up a whole world of liability issues for you and your employer if something were to go wrong. Besides which, OSHA and other regulatory agencies may have laws on the books that prohibit it as well.
On the criminal side of the law, subsection (a)(2) makes it criminal to possess cannabis in the following areas: “in a school bus; on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school; in any correctional facility; in a vehicle under Section 11-502.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code; in a vehicle not open to the public unless the medical cannabis is in a reasonably secured, sealed, tamper-evident container and reasonably inaccessible while the vehicle is moving; or a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises.” Subsection (a)(3) makes it a crime to use medical cannabis in the following situations: “in a school bus; on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school; in any correctional facility; in any motor vehicle; in a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed child care or other similar social service care on the premises; or in any public place.”
It’s easy to see that there’s a lot of restrictions on the use of medical cannabis as well as a lot of pitfalls if you have it on you in the wrong places. There’s also another issue contained in the law that I’ll discuss in the next post: use of medical cannabis prohibits firearm ownership. There’s a clause in the firearm owner’s application that will automatically trigger a denial if you’re a cannabis user. In the next post we’ll discuss this and maybe get into the constitutional issues behind this problem.