MARY JANE OR DIRTY HARRY: Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules–Your Pot or Your Gun

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Patients who want to qualify for medical marijuana in Illinois would have to be fingerprinted for a background check and pay $150 a year — and give up their right to own a gun, state officials proposed Tuesday.

The plan outlines how adults who have any of 41 specified medical conditions, such as cancer, AIDS or complex regional pain syndrome, may apply to get a patient registry identification card to purchase medical pot.

The proposed rules are the first in a series of parameters expected to be outlined over the course of the year to govern how medical marijuana can be legally grown, sold and purchased. The Illinois Department of Public Health will take public comment on this set of rules until Feb. 7 and then submit them to a legislative panel for approval by the end of April.

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Most of the rules address how a patient can qualify for an ID card to buy up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks — or more if a doctor certifies that it’s necessary.

One new proposal states that a qualifying patient or caregiver may not possess a firearm, even if they have a state firearm owner’s identification card or concealed carry permit, and violators may be subject to sanctions by state police.

Todd Vandermyde, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said the NRA takes no position on the issue but that the rule seems to be an attempt to interpret federal law.

Illinois regulations make clear that pot possession is still prohibited by federal law, and the state denies liability for damages arising from the program, including federal prosecution.

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