Chicago prepares for the introduction of medicinal marijuana - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Chicago prepares for the introduction of medicinal marijuana

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

"Medical marijuana may be right for you," said a sign posted on the window of what may be Chicago's first medical marijuana clinic.

"We're actually going to open the clinic to patients next week Wednesday, the 7th of August," said Tammy Jacobi, President of Good Intentions LLC.

In a phone interview with Fox 32's Tisha Lewis, Jacobi says pre-registering patients and providing them with information will start this week. Jacobi operates a similar clinic in Michigan.

She says the Wicker Park location will not house any pot but will provide qualified patients with recommendations and the certification needed to apply for a medicinal marijuana card.

"It's been our experience in Michigan that patients who don't have a physician or haven't seen a physician in years because they don't have medical insurance end up kind of being left out of the medical marijuana programs in each state," said Jacobi.

This past week, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes - the passage creating passionate debate on both sides.

"People driving under the influence of marijuana, people losing track of their goals, it's kind of a dependency that sneaks up on people… I think when we look at the majority of our culture and the cost it is going to be to healthcare, I think the risks far outweigh the benefits," said Kate Mahoney, Executive Director of PEER Services.

"We're very happy that the patients in Illinois will be protected from arrest for using this medicine if their doctor recommends it and they're going to have safe and legal access to this medicine," said Dan Linn, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.

But don't expect marijuana clinics on every corner. Linn expects a slow rollout of the new law.

"They're going to be allowed to grant up to 82 licenses for cultivation centers and dispensaries. I would be surprised if in the four years this is a pilot program that all of those licenses are issued," said Linn.

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