Mom to Quinn: Move on medical marijuana licenses

SHARE Mom to Quinn: Move on medical marijuana licenses
SHARE Mom to Quinn: Move on medical marijuana licenses

Maria Rabadan has one last request, on behalf of her seriously ill son, for outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn — issue the licenses that will allow medical marijuana to be grown and sold in Illinois.

Rabadan’s 9-year-old son, Jancarlo, suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, and the family wants to try a form of non-smokeable medical marijuana known to help children who suffer from seizures.

He has the power in his hands,” the emotional Mount Prospect mom said of the governor. “We ask that he has compassion for the kids.”

But as Quinn prepares to leave office, his administration hasn’t announced who will be granted the coveted medical marijuana business licenses. State officials blew their own deadline of issuing the limited licenses before the end of 2014. Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois for adults and children who suffer from specific conditions, but until the licenses are awarded, it can’t be grown, sold or used.

On Friday, the governor wouldn’t say if he’ll take action before Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner assumes power Monday afternoon.

“I want to take every single day I have left. . . . I want to make sure I work as hard the last three days as I did the first three days,” he said.

When asked if it might not happen Monday, Quinn said, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

But Rabadan and others anxiously waiting for the medicinal product hope Quinn takes action before the next administration is in office. They’re desperate and worry the pilot program, which expires in 2017, will be delayed more than it already has.

Rabadan’s son, a third-grader at a Mount Prospect school, acts more like a five-year-old, his mom said in Spanish.

The sweet, long-lashed boy loves trips to Home Depot and a Spanish-language legal show, which he re-enacts at home.

He calls his mom “darling” and hugs and kisses his doting mom and dad, Javier Bahena, a factory machine operator.

Jancarlo, who is diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, hasn’t had a seizure since Dec. 30. But when the seizures strike, they’re severe and lately last five minutes, though they’ve lasted more than an hour in the past.

Traditional prescription medicines haven’t worked and Rabadan and her husband hope to one day give Jancarlo a product know as CBD, short for cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis that, unlike the well-known THC, does not make people feel stoned. Families with kids like Jancarlo have moved to Colorado just to be able to use the product because for some families, it helps.

It’s our only hope,” Rabadan, 49, said.

Like any other mom, she said she wants the best for her son.

“I see the boy does know how to add and subtract small numbers. He knows how to count to 100 in English and Spanish,” Rabadan said. “I know he’s slow but I see he learns very fast. I don’t want the opportunity to be denied to him.”

Contributing: Natasha Korecki

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