Marijuana is a drug derived from the dry leaves of the Cannabis plant. It contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that has multiple psychological effects on the body.

THC stimulates our brain to induce hallucinations and also releases dopamine, which makes us feel pleasure. It also helps relax the muscles and alleviate pain. It also has Cannabidiol (CBD) that can mitigate inflammation, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and control seizures.

When abused, marijuana has adverse effects. But when used responsibly, medical marijuana can give benefits, especially to people with certain types of chronic diseases.

You just need to get an Illinois medical marijuana card to use medical marijuana legally.

Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program

The benefits above are the reason why the state of Illinois launched the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program. It aims to legalize the use of marijuana for treating people suffering from debilitating conditions.

After the 4-year pilot, it’s now a permanent program as of August 12, 2019.

Illinois Legalizing Recreational Marijuana on January 2020

Cannabis is not only accessible to medical patients. Last May 2019, the Illinois General Assembly legalized the use of recreational marijuana. The implementation of the law will start in January 2020.

With the effectiveness of this law, why do you still need a Medical Marijuana Card? Should you just save the money instead of getting an Illinois medical marijuana card?

It might not be the right option for you.

These are the reasons why you should still get the Illinois medical marijuana card even if Illinois
will legalize Marijuana in January 2020.

Medical Marijuana is Cheaper

Medical marijuana is not affected by taxes levied on recreational cannabis. As a comparison, recreational cannabis is taxed as follows:

  • 10% for cannabis below 35% THC
  • 25% for cannabis products above 35% THC (such as vape oils and concentrates)
  • 20% for cannabis-infused products

Medical marijuana is still taxed with a 1% sales tax like all pharmaceutical products. It will make Medical Marijuana relatively cheaper than recreational ones.

Can Be Used with Higher Dosage

Your physician might require a higher dosage of medical marijuana depending on your needs. It’s important to note that the amount of marijuana you can keep is different between recreational and medicinal use.

For medical use, you can keep 2.5 oz (70.9 grams) of cannabis and cannabis products within 14-days. On the other hand, marijuana for recreational use is limited to the following:

  • 30 g (1 oz) of cannabis flower
  • 5 g for cannabis concentrates
  • 500 mg limit for cannabis-infused products

Visitors of Illinois can also possess half the amounts listed above. If you need more than the limits above, you need a medical marijuana card.

Can Be Used Below 21

Only consumers above age 21 can purchase cannabis products from licensed sellers. But then, patients with a medical marijuana card below 21 are allowed to get their medication.

Protection against Discrimination in Work

The use of dangerous drugs is a ground for termination in most companies. But your case is different.

No employer can refuse to hire or fire you just because of your use of Medical Marijuana. As long as you use it in designated lawful places and non-working hours, you are protected.

Take note; the law will not stop the company from having drug-related policies and drug checks. 


Knowing your rights is vital in any decision. With that, we highly suggest getting your Illinois medical marijuana card if your physician recommends it.

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