Illinois: Petition Lauched To Add Conditions To Medical Marijuana Law

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The medical marijuana program in Illinois just officially came online in November. Now a push to get the state to allow people with a growing number of medical conditions to legally qualify is picking up steam.

Late last year, the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended letting people suffering from PTSD, chronic pain and autism, among other conditions, legally use medical cannabis. The state Department of Public Health is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.

A petition calling on state officials to approve the added conditions is gaining momentum, with nearly 10,000 signatures right now:

"As the nation's fifth most populous state, Illinois could see its medical marijuana program grow significantly by adding the new conditions (especially chronic pain), representing one of the most important developments for the cannabis industry this year so far," Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Thursday.

Patients in Illinois who stand to benefit from the new conditions being added have added their voices to the debate on the petition page.

"I have osteoarthritis and suffer from the pain daily," said Debra R. of Round Lake. "I find it hard to even walk through a grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner and have to have help putting things away. Please approve the condition as I am only 55 and would like to have some pain free life of what I have left."

"I have PTSD and am breaking the law to control my anxiety," said Robert T., of Monmouth.

"My son suffers from autism and seizures," said Ron T., of Chicago. "Medical cannabis has helped in the past and I don't want to move, but I will to help my son. That means everything to me."

"I am Veteran with PTSD and arthritis and chronic pain from injuries from my service. I don't want to be a criminal to have relief,"said Richard B., of Rock Island.

"I'm signing because I'm a 30+ year military veteran with severe osteoarthritis, IBS, and several other of the illnesses listed here," said Ron L., of Dahinda. "My doctors recommended and I have tried and found relief in medical marijuana. I proudly served my country and the communities I've lived in my entire adult life. I'm simply looking for a better quality of life."

"I suffer from PTSD and have suffered ever since my deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006," said James D., of Schaumburg. "I've been put on so many different anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications I can't even count or remember them all. None of them have helped and many have made things worse. I know it is highly unlikely that I will ever fully recover, but having a medicine that could ease the constant pain and suffering associated with PTSD and its many symptoms will add a huge amount to my quality of life."

"I am a veteran with PTSD and medical marijuana helps me with the triggers and memories," said Dustin C., of Rockfoprd. "Also anger, stress and sleeping. I couldn't be the father/husband I am today without it."

"I am a patient with osteoarthritis in my lower back," said Jared T., of Romeoville.
"I have spoken in front of the Advisory Board in both May and October 2015. Medical cannabis will not cure my osteoarthritis, but it will help to manage the chronic pain that I face on a daily basis. Director Shah and Governor Rauner: approve these 8 recommended conditions so that patients like myself can have access to medicine."

"My uncle, a Vietnam War veteran with PTSD, is a changed man since beginning to use cannabis about two years ago," said Christopher S., of Charleston. "By reducing counseling costs, completely eliminating his dependence on pharmaceuticals for anxiety and insomnia, and enabling him to work full-time without absenteeism, medical cannabis is benefiting not only him but the community and society as a whole. This use of cannabis should be enshrined in law as soon as possible."

"I don't want to rely on liver eroding medication for my chronic pain condition," said KarenF., of Chicago. "I want a safe, natural alternative."

"I don't want to be on prescription meds like OxyContin for my Osteoarthritis and chronic knee and back pain,"said Steve S., of Zion.

"I have chronic pain and my insurance will no longer cover the med I have been taking," said Judith B., of Bloomingdale.

"My daughter has PTSD and has been waiting patiently for relief of her painful symptoms," said Michele H., of Oak Park.

"I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and marijuana has been helping my condition for years," said Anna H., of Chicago.

"I've had chronic pain for 15 years," said Robert M., of Saint Anne. "Time for a break."

"I'm signing because I'm a chronic pain sufferer who also happens to have PTSD," said Kandy T., of Macomb. "I've found that medical cannabis helps me more than any of the pharmaceuticals I have been on over the year! I also have a son with Autism. I would love to see if medical cannabis would help him more so he could stop taking some of the poison the pharmaceutical industry alongside the doctors shove down our throats!"

"I suffer from PTSD and know that marijuana can help with my disorder symptoms," said Becky C., of Rushville.

"Osteoarthritis is destroying my quality of life and I am unable to take any of the commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for the pain," said Green C., of Glenview. "In addition a number of them were taken off the market due to dangerous side effects."

"I have Osteoarthritis and have dealt with the pain by using RX medication, OTC meds, etc., for over 11 years," said Lela W., of Mount Morris. "I have limitations that make just the day-to-day things uncomfortable to impossible everyday. I'm only 57 and my quality time with my family has declined over the years. I would like real pain relief and to be able to cut back on meds that I know aren't good for me!"

"I have chronic pain, and feel this would help since eating hydrocodone is killing me," said Jennifer M., of Peoria.

Graphic: Reboot Illinois