A grassroots movement hopes to persuade Illinois’ governor to give the green light and add 8 more conditions to the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Caprice Sweatt, founder and CEO of Medical Cannabis Outreach, says there are incredible testimonials from approved patients who used to be on strong pharmaceuticals but are instead finding relief through medical marijuana.
Sweatt says the governor needs to approve conditions recommended by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. Those conditions are osteoarthritis, various types of chronic pain, autism, irritable bowel syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder. Right now in Illinois qualifying conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C, spinal cord diseases and fibromyalgia, among others.
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Sarah Wright, a 61-year-old from Rock Falls, Illinois, suffers from severe fibromyalgia and says she used prescription opiates to cope with the pain. However she says the side effects were unbearable. The day after she took her first dose of medical cannabis she was up doing spring cleaning.
“And I can honestly say since December 5th I have not been in any pain at all,” Wright said. “I have not had one flare up of my fibromyalgia.”
Meanwhile Sweatt says a new survey of Illinois voters shows overwhelming support for the program and also majority support to expand the program. Information on the petition drive and video testimonials from approved cannabis patients can be seen online at CPACIL.com.
However, David Smith from the Illinois Family Institute says medical cannabis is a misnomer. He has said “we don’t need to introduce or legalize another drug, mind altering drug, to our society and call it good.”
Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program is set to expire in about two years. Wright says if the program does go away she will leave Illinois for a state where she can get safe and legal access to cannabis for pain relief.