Nobody in Illinois has prescribed or consumed medical marijuana yet, a pilot program has only two more years to go, and supporters have not given up on expanding the medical conditions eligible for it.
An advisory board has approved eight conditions – including autism and PTSD – but the sponsor of medical marijuana legislation in Springfield says we've heard that before.
"This advisory board has doctors on it. This advisory board has researchers on it. This advisory board has patients on it,” says State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). “Nobody knows better what is missing from the original law. Their view should have some credence.”
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The recommendations come about a month after the Rauner administration, acting via the Illinois Department of Public Health director and after a deadline for action passed, rejected eleven recommendations.
Lang did not know if IDPH director Dr. Nirav Shah was acting of his own accord or was simply taking orders from the governor's office, but the Cannabis Advisory Board is only one of two ways to add to the program. The other is through legislation, and that's failed, too, with a Rauner veto of a PTSD piece.
Recommendations Shah approves then go to a rule-making process.