Epileptic children may now be treated with marijuana in Illinois

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ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY AUG. 5 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2012 file photo, prepared marijuana is for sale for those who possess a medical...

Children with epilepsy can now legally be treated with medicinal marijuana oil in the state of Illinois.

Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) signed the bill into law Sunday, adding seizures to the list of symptoms that may be treated using the state's medicinal marijuana program.  The bill will also allow epileptic children to qualify for treatment using marijuana extract.

“This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state,” Gov. Quinn said. “Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, and this much needed relief will help to reduce some of its symptoms for those who endure seizures. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act is now designed to help our fellow citizens of all ages by allowing its strictly controlled use for specific medical conditions.”

Illinois legalized medicinal marijuana in 2013, but, until now, the program was only open to those who were 18 and over.

“This legislation was really an initiative by scores of families in Illinois with children that experience literally hundreds of seizures a day,” Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago President and CEO Kurt Florian said. “Many of these families have uprooted for treatment in Colorado and have experienced dramatic reductions in seizures from oil based, low to zero THC medical cannabis."