News From Representative Martwick
District Office
5433 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60630

Phone: 773-286-1115
Fax: 773-545-7106

Upcoming Events
Satellite Office Hours and Grocery Store Visit
Friday August 23
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Montrose Deli
5411 W. Montrose

Working Families Office Hours

Thursday August 29
4 PM - 7 PM

District Office
5433 N. Milwaukee

Community Resource Fair

Saturday Sept. 14
10 AM - 2 PM
Dunham Park
4638 N. Melvina

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far! I am currently devoting each edition of my email newsletter to a different issue related to the recent legislative session. This particular edition will talk about medical marijuana legislation. 


Upcoming email newsletters will cover other issues, including:

- Fracking legislation
- Gambling expansion
- Pension reform
- Marriage equality
In addition, this newsletter has a new column -- "Did You Know?" which will cover veterans' issues and offer information on resources available to local veterans.

As always, if you read something that strikes your interest, please respond.  Your input is valued and it helps me to decide on these issues.  I want to hear from you.



Robert Martwick

State Representative, 19th District
5433 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60630
Phone: 773-286-1115 
Medical Marijuana Legislation


Medical Marijuana for Illinois


On Aug. 1, after Governor Pat Quinn signed off on "The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act," Illinois became the 20th state to pass a law which permits seriously ill patients the use of medicalmarijuana. The bill will provide patients access to a novel therapy and perhaps give many a better quality of life. 


This new law is the strictest medical marijuana law in the nation. Illinois' marijuana penalties will not cease. Fines and jail sentences for possession of marijuana will continue to be enforced, ranging from jail sentences up to one month and fines as high as $1,500 for possession of under 2.5 grams of marijuana. 


Decriminalizing Patients' Cannabis Use


A patient must be issued an ID card from the Illinois Department of Public Health, verifying that he or she has a specified debilitating medical condition and would receive benefit from medical cannabis. Qualifying patients must provide certification, in writing, from a physician who is treating them for the qualifying condition and with whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship. Patients will be granted protection from arrest once these measures are properly addressed. 


Restrictions on Who Qualifies as a Patient


- minors cannot qualify as patients

- active police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, probation officers, and bus drives cannot qualify as patients 

- potential patients may not have a commercial driver's license or a felony drug conviction


Qualifying Medical Conditions 


Psychiatric conditions do not qualify and there is no general category for "pain". The specific conditions which qualify patients are: cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; amyotrophic lateral 

sclerosis (ALS); Crohn's disease; agitation of Alzheimer's disease; cachexia/wasting syndrome; muscular dystrophy; severe fibromyalgia; spinal cord disease; Tarlov cysts; hydromyelia; syringomyelia; spinal cord injury; traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome; multiple 

sclerosis; Arnold Chiari malformation; Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA); Parkinson's disease; Tourette's syndrome; Myoclonus; Dystonia; Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD); Causalgia; CRPS; Neurofibromatosis; Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy; Sjogren's 

syndrome; Lupus; Interstitial Cystitis; Myasthenia Gravis; Hydrocephalus; nail patella syndrome; residual limb pain; or the treatment of these conditions.


Regulated Cultivation Centers 


Every single cannabis cultivation center will be tightly regulated. All cannabis will be grown by up to 22 strictly regulated cultivation centers with 24-hour surveillance, readily accessible by law enforcement. Prospective license holders will have to submit detailed plans to the Department of Agriculture, which will select one facility in each of the 22 State Police districts. Each center will have cannabis-tracking systems and perform weekly inventories. Each center will be required to follow strict department rules, including for labeling, safety, security, and record keeping. Cultivation centers' security plans will have to be approved by the State Police, as well as comply with local zoning laws. Centers must be located at least 2,500 feet from daycare centers, schools, and areas zoned for residential use. 


Strictly Regulated Dispensing 


Patients or caregivers may not cultivate cannabis. Patients can only purchase medical cannabis from state-regulated dispensing organizations, which will purchase the cannabis from cultivation centers. There will be no more than 60 dispensaries in the state, and they will have to abide by Department of Financial and Professional Regulation rules and local zoning. Dispensaries may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare location, nor could they be sited in residential neighborhoods.


Possession Limits 


Patients must designate only one dispensing organization where they will be able to receive medical marijuana. Dispensaries may distribute up to 2.5 ounces to any patient during any 14-day period, unless otherwise indicated and certified by the patients's physician. In such case, the Department of Public Health will grant the patient a waiver, certifying the patient's need of a specific higher quantity. Caregivers, who many serve only one patient, will be permitted to pick up medicine for the patient who designates them. 


Registry ID Cards


Patients, caregivers, cultivation center agents, and dispensing organization agents will be issued ID cards by the Department of Public Health, Department of Agriculture, or Department of FInancial and Professional Regulation. The ID cards will issue an expiration date and number which will help confirm the card's validity. ID cards of cultivation center and dispensing organization employees' will include a photograph of the employee. Patients and caregivers may also be required to contain a photograph on their ID cards. 


Restrictions on Driving


Each registered patient will be deemed to have consented to a field sobriety test, which they could be subjected to based on an independent, factual basis related to cannabis. Their drivers' records will include a notation that they are a qualifying patient. Cannabis cannot be transported in a vehicle unless it is in a secure, sealed, tamper-evident container that is reasonably inaccessible. Patients who drive while they are impaired by cannabis will face the same penalties as patients who drive while impaired by prescription or over-the-counter drugs. 


Impact on Employers 


The bill states specifically that it does not "prohibit an employer from 

enforcing a policy concerning drug testing, zero-tolerance, or a drug free workplace provided such policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner." Elsewhere, the bill also makes clear that employers aren't liable for disciplinary action against employees who use or possess marijuana in the workplace or based on an employer's good-faith belief that an employee was impaired. Finally, the bill states that it does not interfere with federal restrictions and regulations on employment.




The Act includes strict limitations on where cannabis can be used. For example, patients cannot use cannabis at a dispensing organization, in any public place, or in the view of minors. They also cannot undertake any task under the influence of cannabis when doing so will constitute negligence or professional malpractice. Landlords can prohibit smoking on the premises of leased property. 




Veterans -- Did You Know?

Did you know is a new section of our newsletter about programs targeted at veterans, graciously authored by Ray Toczek for the American Legion, Dept. of Illinois


Did You Know?  


That most of my monthly articles deal with the various benefit programs from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs! However there are an additional group of benefits also available on the state level from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. With their main headquarters located in Springfield they also have 49 full-time and 35 part-time offices in 80 out of the 102 counties in our state. Their Veteran Service Officers are fellow veterans who are experts in state and local veteran resources. 


Here are just some of the benefits and programs available.


Cash Bonus Payments: These range from $100 on up for our veterans who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Global War on Terrorism. There is no time limit to apply. 


POW Bonus: $50 for each month held in captivity


Cartage and Erection Fees: Although the actual headstone from the VA is free, cemeteries usually charge to have the stone erected. Illinois will pay up to $100 of this cost. 


Roll of Honor: Through its graves registration program the state preserves the memory of Illinois veterans buried in Illinois. 


Indigent veterans: through local Veteran Assistance Commission offices in certain cases emergency food, transportation, and other assistance can be provided including $900 toward burial expenses. 


Illinois Veterans 'Grant: Up to four years of free tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges. There is no time limit to apply. 


Hunting and Fishing Privileges: These are free for disabled veterans who are receiving 10% or greater service-connected compensation, or total disability pension benefits. 


State Fair: Honorably discharged veterans of all ages and their families shall be admitted FREE on Veterans' Day at the fair. 


Former POW's: Camping and admission fees are free for those wishing to camp in parks under the control of the Dept. of Natural Resources. These POW's can also obtain free license plates. 


Nursing Homes and Homeless Programs: There are five different locations and include nursing and assisted living arrangements. Surviving spouses are also eligible. The Manteno state home also has programs for homeless veterans. 


Property Tax Exemption: A homestead exemption of between $2,500 and $5,000 off the assessed value is available to veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 50%. 


Mortgage Assistance: A $10,000 forgivable loan over a two year period for down payment and closing cost assistance. 


Job Assistance: Through its Illinois Job Link, Illinois Work Net and other programs veterans can find out about current openings and use their veterans' preference points when applying. 


As you can see there is a plethora of benefits available. As with any benefit program there are eligibility requirements involved. To find out more on any of the above visit their web site at or call 800-437-9824. 

Upcoming Events

August 23 - 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM - Satellite Office Hours and Grocery Store Visit - Montrose Deli, 5411 W. Montrose, Chicago -

 Rep. Martwick and his staff will be available during satellite office hours to help residents with issues or questions about state agencies, programs and legislation. Or just stop by to say hi to Representative Martwick! Appointments are not necessary. 

August 29 - 4 PM - 7 PM - Working Families Office Hours - District Office, 5433 N. Milwaukee, Chicago -

Rep. Martwick's office will be open late the last Thursday of every month to accomodate those who need help with state services or have questions but can't make it to the office during normal hours.

September 14 - 10 AM - 2 PM - Community Resource Fair - Dunham Park, 4638 N. Melvina, Chicago -

Representatives from state agencies, local villages, government offices, and service providers will be present to answer questions and give free services to constituents. Free health screenings, bingo, raffle prizes, games for kids, and other activities! For more information, contact our office at 773-286-1115 or 
Advisory Committees

Advisory committees are a great way to get involved and make your voice heard! Any constituent of the 19th District is welcome to join our advisory committees. We will discuss pending legislation and new ideas with Representative Martwick.


Representative Martwick's Advisory Committees and their next scheduled meetings (all held at the District Office, 5433 N. Milwaukee):


Conservation: August 26 at 6 PM 

Senior Issues:  September 9 at 10 AM 

Latino Issues: September 11 at 6:30 PM 

Women's Issues: September 17 at 6:30 PM 

Veterans: October 2 at 6 PM 

Working Families: October 3 at 6:30 PM

Manufacturing: October 8 at 9:30 AM 

Economic Development: November 13 at 9:30 AM

Public Safety: TBD 

Health Care: TBD 


For more information or to RSVP, respond to this email or call our office: 773-286-1115.

Community Calendar



Sun. August 24, 9:30 AM - Portage Park Garden Club Meeting - Austin/Irving Library, 6100 W. Irving Park - This month will feature their 3rd annual show and tell, where members and guests have the opportunity to bring in items, flowers, veggies, fruit or herbs from their garden. 


Sun. August 25 - 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM - Jefferson Park Sunday Market - Jefferson Park, Higgins and Long - Enjoy the bounty of the season during the Portage Park Sunday Market  


Thu. August 29 through Sun. Sept 8 - Various locations around Milwaukee/Lawrence - Enjoy dozens of unique performances during Chicago Fringe Fest.


Sun. September 15 - 10 AM - 2 PM - Portage Park Farmers Market - Portage Park, Berteau and Central - Enjoy the bounty of the season during the Portage Park Sunday Market