Surprising Rules for Medical Marijuana Usage in Illinois - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Surprising Rules for Medical Marijuana Usage in Illinois

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Medical marijuana has been legalized in Illinois, but sick people can't legally use the drug just yet. The Department of Public Health is still piecing together the guidelines for it. Still, some rules have been released on where it can be used.

Under the new rules being hammered out by the state, of course sick patients will be able to smoke medical marijuana in the comfort of their home.  Few people seem to take issue with that. It's other, public places the drug can be used that have some people concerned.

In Illinois, the same places you see cigarette smokers lighting up, you'll soon see medical marijuana patients too.  

"I don't have a problem with that at all," said longtime smoker Jason Whitmarsh of East Moline. "Same theory, there's no reason for them to impose on other people who don't smoke.

Whitmarsh has been a smoker for 20 years. He says seeing medical marijuana patients smoke in public might shock Illinois residents at first, but after awhile, they'll get used it, something that's already happening in other states.

"What I've noticed living in two states that have medical marijuana is that people generally just smoke it as casually as smokers smoke cigarettes as far as publicly," out-of-state visitor Shaun Liberali said.

But not everyone is on board with people using medical marijuana in public.  

"As a business owner, I understand the needs for people that need the marijuana," owner of QC Cofee and Pancake House Jose Zepeda said. "They have medical conditons. But also as a business owner, I have a lot of kids come in to the restaurant."

Zepeda says his restaurant mostly attracts families, and the last thing he wants is someone outside smoking medical marijuana.

"I don't want them to start seeing that if an adult or teenager is doing it outside, to think its  okay to do it," he said, adding that it could even hurt his bottom line.

But what's legal, is legal.  

"I have a lot of customers that are very conservative too," Zepeda said. "I don't want to lose those customers either. I'm talking about people in the 60's, 65. They grew up in different times. And they don't like to see that. But I understand it's the law."

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