Illinois Governor Signs Sweeping Bill to Remove Medical Cannabis Cards From Police Database
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A new amendment filed on November 12th has been officially signed to remove notations on driving records for people registered as qualifying medical cannabis patients or their caregivers. Now that it has passed, this will be a significant leap towards greater progress in ensuring equal rights for card-holding medical patients.
As of December 4th, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker Signed the Bill!
— Bob Morgan (@BobMorganIL) December 4, 2019
With this final approval from the Governor, new registrations, the registered patient’s information will no longer be forwarded to the Secretary of State. This essentially removes a patient’s medical cannabis registration information from their driving records, which up until recently could be pulled up by law enforcement simply by using one’s driver’s license information.
Throughout the life of the program, many prospective patients have refrained from obtaining a medical cannabis card due to this lack of privacy. This change, if implemented, will soon allow patients to more comfortably travel knowing their medical cannabis card registration is not readily available to law enforcement officials, who have been historically enforcing archaic anti-cannabis laws.
With recreational consumers not being subject to such scrutiny, the amendment levels the field in restoring privacy rights for all consumers regardless of whether they choose to use cannabis in a recreational or medical context.
Equally importantly, the proposed amendment restores the age requirement for minor patients to be able to consume inhalable forms medical cannabis. Previously, consumers under the age of 21 were going to be prohibited from consuming all forms of cannabis except for infused products (such as RSO and edibles). They were also prohibited from purchasing any other forms of usable cannabis. The proposed amendment will reduce the age restriction for the use of inhalable and other usable forms of cannabis to those under the age of 18. This will once again allow medical patients from the ages of 18-21 to purchase other forms of usable cannabis products.
According to Patient Advocate and Legislative Liason Sandy Champion,
“the Secretary of State will have six months to remove all medical cannabis patients from their databases! In addition, effective immediately, patients aged 18-21 will have their rights restored and can purchase all cannabis products. Thanks to all our sponsors for getting this done.”
As of November 14, 2019 – the SB1557 amendment passed both the House and Senate and was officially signed on December 4th by the Governor. With this signing, registered medical cannabis patients 18-21 years old will have their rights restored to all cannabis products effective immediately, and the Secretary of State must remove all patient information from driver records within six months of the signing.