Governor Refuses to Add PTSD to Medical Marijuana Conditions List

Joliet medical marijuana PTSDIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner continued to demonstrate his unwillingness to amend the state’s medical marijuana pilot program until it finally gets off the ground by illegal drug possession "> vetoing a proposal that would have added several ailments to the list of qualifying conditions. The proposed measure would have added, among others, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, allowing those suffering from the condition to seek medical marijuana treatment legally. The governor’s decision is not sitting well with many across the state, including a number of veterans groups who believe that Illinois needs to keep up with other states, especially when it comes to offering aid to those who have sacrificed and served.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Once known as shell shock and battle fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious psychiatric condition that can affect an individual who has experienced or witnessed a particularly troubling or terrifying event. The event typically involves the infliction or threat of serious harm or violence, and may include wartime combat, a violent crime, auto accident, sexual assault, or natural disaster. PTSD can cause intense feelings of fear, helplessness, anger, nervousness, anxiety, depression, and other physiological and psychological symptoms.
While there is no cure for PTSD, its symptoms are often treated with antidepressants or blood pressure medications. Medicinal treatments are commonly provided in conjunction with psychotherapy to help the affected person develop coping skills and to work through fears. However, according to many military veterans and a growing number of more progressive mental health professionals , marijuana may provide a measure of help and relief to those who suffer from PTSD.

Growing Pressure

To date, twelve states and the District of Columbia have approved PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in their jurisdictions. This number represents roughly half of all states that have any type of medicinal cannabis program. Veterans groups, in particular, were hoping that Illinois would join them. “It makes me angry because I don’t think they are researching the whole situation,” said Mike Malstrom , veteran and member of the Marine Corps League.

According the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Illinois is home to more than 720,000 military veterans, including more than half a million wartime vets. For its part, however, the VA insists that the effects of medical marijuana on PTSD have not been adequately studied and will not make an official recommendation regarding its use.

Help for Drug Possession Charges

As the Illinois medical marijuana program finally gets going, those without a qualifying condition and valid registration card can still be prosecuted for marijuana possession. If you are facing such charges, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba . We will evaluate your case and work with you to protect your rights and your future. Call 815-740-4025 for your free consultation today.

Defending Drug Possession Charges

Joliet drug possessionIf you have been arrested on charges of illegal drug possession , you may feel like your options are very limited. It may seem nearly impossible to consider anything other than your life and your future crashing down around you. While you should certainly take any criminal charges seriously, including those for drug possession, a dedicated lawyer can help you realize that a successful defense is possible and that the case is probably not as clear-cut as it may appear.

Burden of Proof

As with any criminal matter, proving your guilt is entirely up to the prosecution. In order to convict you of drug possession, prosecutors must show beyond reasonable doubt that:

• You knew the substance in question was an illicit drug or controlled substance; and
• You knew the substance was in your possession or within property under your control.

The second point also includes what the law refers to as “constructive possession,” which can be used in several scenarios. Constructive possession is defined as the legal possession of something without being in a person’s direct physical control. For example, if you and your roommate each have a key to a locked cabinet in your home and illegal drugs are found in that cabinet, you both could be charged with possession. Similarly, prosecutors may attempt to prove that drugs in the trunk of your car were under your constructive possession since the vehicle belongs to you.

Possible Defenses

Building a solid defense against drug possession charges , of course, depends on the specific circumstances of your case. We may be able to show, for example, that drugs in question did not belong to you and that you were not aware of their presence. Since it is up to the state to prove they did belong you, creating a reasonable doubt is sufficient. If drugs were found on your physical person, disputing actual possession may be a bit more difficult, but we can explore other defense options with you.

The other primary element of a drug possession charge is the manner in which the evidence against you was found. Drugs that were discovered and seized in an illegal search can lead to all charges being dropped. We can review the police records and appropriate documents to determine the validity of any search and fight to get improperly seized evidence thrown out, along with the charges of possession.

For more information about building a defense against drug possession charges, contact a tenacious Will County criminal defense lawyer today. Attorney Jack Zaremba is a former prosecutor who will use his knowledge and experience to help you avoid a conviction and protect your future. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free, introductory consultation.

Restricted Driving Permits Joliet Illinois

Joliet attorney restricted driving permitWhen your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) or other violations, your life can be greatly affected. It may be extremely difficult for you to continue working, to attend school, or to attend alcohol education programs in accordance with court directives. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, however, you may have relief options available to restore driving privileges on a limited basis. With the help of a qualified attorney, you may be able to obtain a restricted driving permit (RDP) and take the first steps toward getting your life back on track.

What is an RDP?

A restricted driving permit can be granted by the Secretary of State’s office to allow partial restoration of driving privileges. The terms of the RDP can be customized for each case and only permit a person to drive in certain areas and at certain times for specifically approved purpose. Depending on the situation, an RDP can allow driving to:

• Maintain employment;
• Attend recommended drug and alcohol remedial or rehabilitation activities; or
• Provide transportation for themselves, a child, elderly, or disabled person in the driver’s household for medical, daycare or educational purpose when alternative transportation is not available.

Applying for an RDP and Hearing

To obtain a restricted driving permit, a person whose license has been suspended or revoked must submit an application to the Secretary of State’s office. The individual must prove that a justifiable hardship exists, provide the results of a current drug or alcohol evaluation, and, if appropriate, offer proof of treatment or remedial education.

The offender will be required to appear for a hearing with a representative from the Secretary’s office. Serious offenses, including multiple DUIs and offenses involving a fatality will require a formal hearing, while less serious concerns can be handled at an informal hearing. Based on the results of the hearing, and the proof submitted with the application, an RDP will be granted with specified terms or denied. If an RDP is granted to an offender with two or more alcohol-related incidents in the last 10 years, the driver will be required to have a Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle for the duration of the permit.

Get Legal Help for Your Case

If you have had your driving privileges suspended or revoked for any reason, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Zaremba understands the law and knows how to get results. He and his team are prepared to fight on your behalf and ensure your rights and your future are fully protected. Schedule your free consultation by calling 815-740-4025.


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