CHICAGO (AP) — Aspiring medical marijuana patients whose last names start with M through Z can soon apply to the Illinois Department of Public Health for a registry card.

The department begins accepting applications from that group starting Saturday.

Illinois has been processing paperwork from thousands of applicants whose last names begin with A through L. Others have been asked to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

Most patients must have a written certification from their doctor to use medical marijuana in the state's new program. Only military veterans getting Veterans Affairs care won't need a doctor to sign off. VA doctors, as federal employees, aren't permitted to recommend controlled substances.

More information is available online at the program's website.

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