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Chicago Tribune Editorial Board To Illinois Governor – Expand Medical Marijuana Program

illinois marijuana

(via firedoglake.com)

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.


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Johnny Green


  1. Things are improving in Rockford. The Mayor used to go to Libertarian meetings. So he knows the issues. And even better he is sympathetic.

  2. The Chicago Tribune used to be on the right and the Sun Times on the left. The positions are now reversed. Rauner would be more likely to pay attention to the Sun Times.

    Rauner is correct on the budget issues. But I think I’ll vote Democrat next time if Rauner keeps up his war on cannabis.

    Illinois is about to become a failed State and Chicago is on its way to Detroit.

    Prohibition is not helping.

  3. saynotohypocrisy on

    I had that terrible experience too, Lawrence. So many people who didn’t understand it at the time must be realizing now that there was a medicinal herb that would have alleviated their loved one’s suffering. So much unnecessary suffering the prohibs have barbarically shoved down our throat…

  4. When politicians bash cannabis they are saying, “we don’t want our jobs anymore, we will hate ourselves out of office”.

    In 2018 there will be a landslide win for his opposition!

  5. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 on

    The ONLY reason that Rauner, Christie and Cuomo are instituting
    medical cannabis programs in their respective states is so that they can say,
    “Look, we have medical marijuana programs!”, “We’re ‘compassionate’!”,
    (never mind that these are merely useless gestures that don’t truly acknowledge
    the full medical efficacy OF cannabis, in all of its forms, of all of its cultivars!!!).

  6. saynotohypocrisy on

    What must people who never gave MMJ a second’s thought be thinking about cannabis now, as they realize the horrible suffering their loved ones endured could have been alleviated by cannabis? And when are we going to get more mea culpa’s from repentent MMJ prohibitionists? Is Sanjay Gupta going to be the only one to take responsibility for their role in this cruel war against medicine?

  7. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Six years ago I watched my father die of cancer in Illinois, heartbroken that he was not legally allowed to try medical cannabis. I know it would’ve at least restored some of his appetite. All three governors of Illinois, New Jersey and New York—Bruce Rauner, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, respectively—should be immediately sued for arrogantly depriving their constituents of safe and legal access to medical cannabis. The obstruction of medical cannabis progress in their states is the highest form of public corruption. Put them in cuffs!

  8. Eric Carpedium on

    I Illinois it’s hard to get any doctor to recommend medical marijuana for an approved condition.
    The only options are the so called “compassionate clinics” where you are charged for everything (visit, transfer of medical records, physical, and of course on going visits to maintain a relationship with the doctor) This cost will come out of your own pocket because theses clinics do no accept insurance.
    This is the reason as well as the procedure not to only pay for a state card, but also a patient has to pay to be fingerprinted
    as well. (which is insulting)
    This is designed to divert a large number of qualified patients in order for the program to fail.

  9. saynotohypocrisy on

    If Rauner continues with his sick war on medicine, I hope he croaks. Lives of innocent people are at stake, and immense suffering.

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