By Derrick Stanley
A Cook County judge ruled Tuesday that Illinois must add post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.
The ruling may be rendered moot, as legislation is pending that would do the same thing. Gov. Bruce Rauner's office had indicated he will sign it, after previously blocking expansion of the program.
There are pending lawsuits seeking to add seven other conditions to the list, including cases involving chronic pain and osteoarthritis that are before the same judge.
In his opinion, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen criticized Illinois Department of Health Director Nirav Shah for failing to follow the recommendations of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
The judge gave the state 30 days to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions, and scheduled a follow-up hearing to ensure compliance.
The case was filed by Daniel Paul Jabs, a military veteran with PTSD.
Attorney Michael Goldberg, who handled the case, said he hoped the other conditions would be added on the same basis.
"This judge… stepped in to protect (Jabs') health, safety and welfare," Goldberg said, "The judiciary seems to be sending a message to the executive branch."