Lincolnshire Place Could Soon Become First Facility in Illinois to Offer Patients Medical Marijuana

Facility Determined to Get Patients the Quality of Life They Deserve

By Pari Cruz |

Published 08/12 2016 06:40PM

Updated 08/12 2016 06:42PM

“My residents have a terminal illness, and we’re keeping them from something that they deserve,” says Kim Zamora, the Executive Director of Lincolnshire Place. “That will give them quality of life.”

Kim Zamora sat down with me earlier to discuss her plans to make her facility the first to offer medical marijuana as treatment.

She’s seen firsthand the benefits of medical marijuana to treat those suffering from terminal diseases.

“This is not my job, this is my life and my passion,” said Zamora. “So if I can impact somebody’s life, not only in the beginning of their life but at the end of their journey, it’s what I’m going to do at any cost.”

They started the process in early June, but the problem is that the process is so long-and their patients don’t have a lot of time.

“With the Alzheimer’s it’s really hard to find things that will work for the anxiety and agitation that they have, without causing other side effects,” said the Director of Nursing at Lincolnshire Place, Karen Hamilton.

She added that it devastates her that they can do a better job of getting them help.

Illinois is one of 25 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

But on Thursday, the DEA announced it’ll keep marijuana illegal-no matter what-putting it in the same category as other drugs like heroin and ecstasy.

Still. Lincolnshire is working closely with one well-known dispensary in Rockford.

But they say, it has its challenges.

“When they wrote the Medical Cannabis Act, they included Alzheimer’s patients and other people who were in assisted living facilities,” said Medmar Vice President, John Sullivan. “But what they didn’t contemplate was the idea that those patients can’t get here, and we can’t deliver.”

One employee, who is also a patient, says using medical marijuana changed her life.

“I feel like I’m alive again-that’s the best,” said Medmar’s Patient Liaison, Maria Johnson. “That is the highest praise I could give as I feel like I’m living. I feel like I’m alive again.”

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