Illinois has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country, allowing only those that suffer from a short list of conditions to become patients. Multiple times now the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has endorsed expanding the list of conditions for the program, and both times Illinois' Governor, Bruce Rauner, has squashed the proposals. That's right, doctors want to expand the medical marijuana program, but Illinois' top politician isn't allowing it to happen.
That has resulted in strong words coming from the Chicago Tribune, via an article that the Editorial Board recently published:
The advisory board is scrupulous in its vetting. Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, a Chicago-area physician who chairs the panel, said her group does a comprehensive review of each proposal and rejects conditions that don't meet their standards. "Anxiety," for example, was rejected because it's too broad a category. Lyme and MRSA were left out because the scientific research was "too vague to draw any conclusions."
The board is frustrated with the governor, for good reason. "We don't get everything that we want on this board anyway, several times over," Mendoza Temple said at the most recent meeting.
About 6,200 people in Illinois have been approved to use medical marijuana. That's well below early estimates. The state's dispensaries and growers --- a new industry for this jobs-starved state --- are counting on a larger customer base. Expanding the list of uses would give Springfield a fuller track record to evaluate when lawmakers decide whether to extend the legalization of medical marijuana. But the most important reason to expand the list of ailments is to help suffering patients.
To see which conditions are already on the list of qualifying conditions in Illinois, click this link here. The most recent numbers I've read state that there are roughly 6,200 patients in Illinois' program right now. To put that into perspective, Oregon has over 72,000, despite the fact that Oregon's overall population is less than 1/3 that of Illinois. ALL suffering patients deserve safe access to medicine. I'm not sure why that is such a tough thing for Illinois' Governor to understand.