1. In Illinois, a Cancer Diagnosis Doesn’t Guarantee Access to Medical Marijuana

So if stage-three Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a doctor’s prescription won’t do it, what will? Brianna Wellen gives a first-person perspective in the Reader.

2. How Illinois Pays for Public Schools, $9,794 vs. $28,639

Tiny Rondout District 72 spents nearly $30k per student—because of property taxes, including from a multinational pharmaceutical company. WBEZ maps the state’s inequities.

3. Ganja Goes Gourmet

Pastry whiz Mindy Segal is teaming with a local marijuana cultivator to make delicious (and, more importantly, mellow) edibles. Chicago visits the chef.

4. Homeless But Employed: The Chicago Restaurant Workers Living Under a Bridge

Lisa Madigan is suing employment agencies, alleging that the workers they place make as little as $3.50 an hour. The Guardian explains.

5. At Last, a Box Henry Threadgill Fits Nicely Into: Pulitzer Winner

The Chicago native and AACM veteran wins for his composition “In for a Penny, in for a Pound.” The New York Times reviews his career.

6. The View from Illinois: Voters Frustrated That Government Is Broken

From impoverished Englewood to almost-bankrupt Thomson, residents are ready for politicians to act. NPR travels the state.

7. Jack McCullough Walks Free After Conviction in 1957 Sycamore Murder Vacated

He was convicted in 2012, ending one of the nation’s coldest cases. His conviction was thrown out on Friday. The Northwest Herald tells the strange story.

8. With Help of Lawmakers, Illinois Public Schools Now $20 Billion in Debt

Lincoln-Way High School District 210 got permission to exceed its debt limit to house a projected enrollment of 8,400 by 2009. It’s now 7,028, and it’s closing a high school. The Tribune uncovers the numbers.

9. IDOC Director: Time to Rethink How the State Deals with Drug Offenders

“He told the group that in 1970, there were 66 people behind state prison bars for every 100,000 Illinois citizens, and today, there’s roughly 380 people incarcerated per every 100,000.” The Southern explores his ideas.

10. Is Cabrini-Green One of Chicago’s Best Places to Live? It Was for Me

It’s notorious for its failures, but it also housed future politicians, actors, and scholars. Did they have to go to make way for redevelopment? A former resident looks back in Chicago magazine.