Illinois Governor Denies Medical Marijuana Program Expansion
Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013. However, even though 2015 is drawing to a close, not one medical marijuana patient has been able to purchase any legal medical marijuana. Patients in Illinois are not allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and can only buy it from a licensed dispensary, which have yet to open for business. The last statistic that I heard was that there are roughly 3,000 medical marijuana patients in Illinois, which is a very low number considering how many people live in Illinois, and would benefit from medical cannabis.
One of the reasons that there are not that many patients signed up is because there is no where to buy medical marijuana yet, but another reason is that the list of qualifying conditions to become a patient is very small. There was a recent push to add more conditions to the program, but Illinois’ Governor axed that idea. Per the Chicago Tribune:
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday continued his chilly reception of the medical marijuana program he inherited, vetoing a measure that would have allowed patients with post-traumatic stress disorder to qualify for medical marijuana as his administration revealed it would not expand the trial program to include 11 new ailments.
In his veto message, the Republican governor said the medical marijuana test program is still in its early stages and it would be premature to expand the scope “before we have had the chance to evaluate it.”
The conditions that would have been added to the program were: Migraines, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Pain (Post-Operative), Anorexia Nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peripheral and diabetic neuropathy, Osteoarthritis, Polycystic kidney disease, Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease. Unfortunately for patients that suffer from those conditions, they will have to wait until either Governor Rauner changes his mind, or wait for him to leave office. Neither option is favorable of course, but unfortunately that appears to be the situation at hand. Illinois patients deserve a much, much better medical marijuana program (and Governor!) than this.