Advocate for Medical Marijuana Not Eligible Due to Drug Charge

Michelle DiGiacomo, 53, was arrested in 2012 for having marijuana

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    NBC Bay Area
    A seriously ill woman who'd lobbied to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois won't be eligible to get it herself because of a drug charge.

    A seriously ill woman who'd lobbied to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois won't be eligible to get it herself because of a drug charge.

    Michelle DiGiacomo won't be able to get the medicinal marijuana under the new bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last month. She suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal stenosis, among other things, and had been using marijuana for pain relief.

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    DiGiacomo got a license to buy medical marijuana in California, where it's legal. But it was still illegal in Illinois.

    The 53-year-old Chicago woman was arrested in 2012 for having marijuana in her possession. She pleaded guilty to felony possession, months before Quinn signed the bill into law.

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    The drug charge disqualifies her from getting medical marijuana in Illinois.

    The state's medical marijuana law, which allows doctors to prescribe the drug to terminally ill patients who suffer from one of 42 listed illnesses, including cancer and HIV, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.