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Pritzker expands eligibility for medical cannabis

SPRINGFIELD (WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation that will add illnesses to the list of those eligible for medical marijuana prescriptions.

Health care officials say the expansion will allow people to use cannabis rather than narcotics to treat chronic pain. 

"This new law reverses course, naming 11 new conditions as eligible for the program, including chronic pain," Pritzker said. "And I’m proud to say we’re putting Illinois back on the side of patients who are suffering, and the medical professionals who treat them."

Pritzker also signed legislation that allows minors prescribed medical cannabis to use it themselves with under supervision of an administrator or nurse with permission for their guardian. The governor said there are a few hundred minors in Illinois with serious illnesses prescribed medical cannabis.

Illnesses eligible for medical cannabis treatment include, but are not limited to:

(1) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human  immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease (including, but not limited to, ulcerative  colitis), agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, including but not limited to arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibrous dysplasia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Myoclonus, Dystonia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, RSD  (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I), Causalgia, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II), Neurofibromatosis, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Sjogren’s syndrome, Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, Hydrocephalus, nail-patella syndrome, residual limb pain, seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, superior canal dehiscence syndrome, or the treatment of these conditions; (1.5) terminal illness with a diagnosis of 6 months or less; if the terminal illness is not one of the qualifying debilitating medical conditions, then the certifying health care professional physician shall on the certification form identify the cause of the terminal illness; or (2) any other debilitating medical condition or its  treatment that is added by the Department of Public Health by rule as provided in Section 45.

The expansion goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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News 3 Staff

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