“Say no to drugs” is often taught to kids from a very young age, and that usually applies to pot as well. Things are about to change in Illinois that could shake things up a bit. After the New Year, children under the age of 18 will be legally allowed to consume edible forms of cannabis, says the Illinois Department of Public Health, in an emergency regulations document published last week.

There has a been a lot of controversy about the provision to the state’s medical marijuana program, but despite that, Illinois state regulators will allow children under the age of 18 to consume edible cannabis as long as the following criteria are met; permission must be given by a parent or guardian, there must be a prescription given by a primary care doctor and a recommendation from a secondary doctor. For kids which life altering conditions like epilepsy and muscular dystrophy, they will have the same access to foods containing safe, monitored doses of THC.

Changing the rules to allow young people who could benefit from medical cannabis is just one step in the right direction. There are still many doctors who don’t feel that cannabis is a legitimate medicine for adults, let alone children.

The executive director of Illinois NORML, Dan Linn, recently told The Associated Press that forcing children to provide two doctor recommendations was “an unneeded burden standing between these patients and the medicine they need.”

There will be a few differences in the states program for minors who are enrolled in the program. Minors will not need to be fingerprinted like adults, but will need to have a recent photograph on file with the state. There will also be a $100 yearly fee, which is slightly cheaper than the fee that adults pay to the State Medical Marijuana Program.

There is also a rule in place that at least one parent or guardian of a patient under the age of 18 be given a seat on the yet to be appointed state medical marijuana advisory board. This will hopefully help keep the program running in the best interest of underage patients.

The state is still expected to name the 21 recipients of permits for cultivation centers and 60 permits for dispensaries before the end o

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