Medical marijuana advocates are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner expand access to the program.
Groups involved with new Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition rallied in Chicago Thursday asking for Rauner to sign two bills affecting the medical marijuana program. One would extend the life of the pilot program, the other would add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.
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Max Boykin, community organizer for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, gave Rauner credit for issuing licenses for cultivators and dispensers soon after he came into office.
"We need Gov. Rauner to continue to support these life-changing therapies," Boykin said. "Gov. Rauner, if you can hear us, because I want to make sure he hears us if he is in Springfield, if he's in Chicago, or wherever he is in the state, he needs to make sure that he hears us."
The first cultivators have begun growing medical marijuana, which may be available to some patients by late October. In May, an advisory board recommended adding several conditions to those which can qualify someone for the program, including migraines and irritable bowel syndrome, but the Illinois Department of Public Health has yet to act on those recommendations.