Advisory Board Recommends Expanding Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program, Again
An advisory board that has been tasked with reviewing Illinois’ medical marijuana program and recommending expansions to the list of qualifying conditions has determined that there needs to be more conditions that qualify to become a medical marijuana patient in Illinois. This is not the first time that they have done so. The advisory board previously recommended adding 11 conditions, but that proposal was rejected by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. This time around, the board hopes to add 8 new conditions. Per Fox Chicago:
An advisory board voted Wednesday to add eight health conditions — including chronic pain syndrome, autism, osteoarthritis and post-traumatic stress disorder — to the list of illnesses that can be treated by medical marijuana in Illinois.
The state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had expressed frustration last month when Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration rejected its first 11 suggestions for expanding the list of medical conditions. Osteoarthritis and PTSD were on that earlier list, so Wednesday’s votes reaffirmed the board’s viewpoint and put the matter back in Rauner’s hands.
Board chair Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple said Wednesday that she hopes the Rauner administration will have a different response to the latest round of suggestions after dispensaries start selling the drug, which will be later this month or in early November.
There is something very wrong when the medical opinion of an advisory board, chaired by a medical doctor, gets trumped by a politician because the politician doesn’t want to let go of failed policies of the past. If Governor Rauner prevents these recommendations from being added to the Illinois medical marijuana program (some conditions of which are being recommended for the second time), then it is clear that he feels that politics is more important than helping sick people. That would be absolutely disgusting, and I would hope that Illinois politicians would start calling for him to resign. Illinois deserves a Governor who has compassion, and not one who prioritizes politics over patients.