Governor Rauner Quiet on Cannabis Bill

A cannabis bill permitting adults to depart away from opioid painkillers and take cannabis in their place sans any bureaucratic hurdles awaits Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature. If signed, it will be the biggest expansion of the medical marijuana program in Illinois from its inception. It remains unclear whether the governor will finally sign it.

Better then opioids

Senator Don Harmon is confident that his bill will effectively combat the opioid crisis in the state. The lawmaker said opioid addiction claims thousands of Illinois residents every year. It thus makes excellent sense to be open to alternative treatment. Harmon reminded everyone that no person has died from a cannabis overdose. The bill’s passage will provide patients who are now at the mercy of opioids another option. They would require permission from a physician, as per the professional language is written in the bill. It means dubious doctors would be weeded out.

If the bill finally becomes law, it will be possible for patients to obtain a certification from a physician saying they have a condition which requires a cannabis prescription. Any patient can then take the document to any dispensary and obtain medical cannabis. This could be had for a certain time period. The bill also permits any person who qualifies for medical cannabis program for a physician certification to go to a dispensary and get cannabis on provisional basis along with the process of their application.

Medical marijuana expansion

The law could clear the path for the biggest expansion of the usage of medical marijuana in Illinois state. From the beginning of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, approximately 37,000 individuals have enrolled in this 2014-founded scheme. This bill would allow residents of Illinois who are older than 21 years of age to enroll. These people must have a valid reason for being prescribed cannabis. If such a condition is satisfied, approximately 2.3 million patients will be eligible for the cannabis scheme.

Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, the former chair of Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, said there will continue to be some hesitancy. He pointed out that a number of health systems may not allow their doctors to write any sort of medical cannabis certification. Temple said that if the bill becomes a law, the medical community must give inputs on the law’s implementation. Governor Rauner has earlier resisted multiple efforts to expand this medical marijuana program. The expansion of cannabis use has also been fought by Illinois Department of Public Health.

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