On May 31, the Illinois General Assembly voted to make Illinois the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis. The new law will take effect January 1, 2020. But Thomas J. Franzen, a Stage 4 cancer patient, will watch that historic day pass from behind bars, as he serves out the remainder of a four year prison sentence for marijuana. On May 30, a Kane County judge sentenced Franzen after he pled guilty to possessing more than 5 kilograms of cannabis in the form of THC-infused chocolates.
Franzen ordered the marijuana edibles from California in 2014, and police initially charged him with drug trafficking, which carries a 12 to 60 year sentence. In light of Franzen’s medical condition and Illinois’ recent moves to expand medical marijuana access and legalize adult use, Franzen’s attorney says the judge presiding over the case is being lenient in his sentencing. But due to the quantity of cannabis involved, Franzen will have to serve at least a few years behind bars.
Illinois Cancer Patient Self-Medicated with Cannabis
Thomas Franzen is a resident of suburban Chicago. For years, he has been fighting an aggressive form of testicular cancer that has spread to his lungs and abdominal cavity.