leslie mendoza temple

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Advocates Applaud Rauner's About-face

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates are happy that Gov. Bruce Rauner has changed his mind about expanding the Illinois pilot program, saying it will help more patients who are suffering.

Democratic state Rep. Lou Lana announced an agreement Friday with the Republican governor to extend Illinois' four-year pilot program to 2020. It was originally set to end in 2018, but supporters argued more time was needed because medical marijuana sales just started in November 2015.

The agreement adds post traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the qualifying conditions. Rauner had previously rejected recommendations to add conditions.

Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple is chairwoman of Illinois' Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. She says she's "thrilled" more patients will benefit.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Advocates Cheer Governor's About-Face On Expanding Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's about-face on expanding the state's medicinal cannabis pilot program, saying it will allow time to show the program is working and help more suffering patients.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang on Friday announced an agreement with the Republican governor to extend the state's four-year medical marijuana pilot program to 2020, reports the Associated Press.

The program had been set to expire in 2018, but advocates said more time is needed because medicinal cannabis sales only began in November 2015.

The agreement, which still must be approved by the Illinois Legislature, adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and terminal illness to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

Governor Rauner had previously balked at adding any conditions, despite recommendations from the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

Chairwoman Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple of the board said she's "thrilled" that more patients will now benefit from the program.

Photo of Gov. Bruce Rauner: Chicago Now

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Panel Suggests 12 Health Conditions; Criticizes Governor

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Doctors, nurses and patients on a state panel that recommends whether to expand Illinois' medical marijuana test program on Monday suggested 12 additional health conditions for inclusion, and complained that their suggestions are routinely ignored by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

A doctor who leads the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board said she isn't optimistic about the chances of expanding the program based on previous decisions by the Rauner Administration, reports Celeste Bott at the Chicago Tribune.

Board Chair Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple said the advisory board is moving forward anyway. The board met on Monday in Springfield, and suggested that 10 previously recommended ailments receive approval, as well as two new ones, Type 1 diabetes and panic disorder.

Currently, 39 conditions and diseases can qualify patients to use medicinal cannabis in Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law allows people to suggest new diseses for the program twice a year.

Some at the hearing celebrated the diabetes recommendation, but board member and pediatrician Dr. Nestor Ramirez cautioned them to "wait for what the governor says."

Illinois Considers Expanding Disease List For Medical Marijuana Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois residents have petitioned the state to add more than 20 medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program. Among the conditions requested to be added are anxiety, migraines, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Petitioners identifying themselves as combat veterans of Vietnam and Iraq asked that PTSD be included, according to 269 pages of petitions obtained by Carla K. Johnson at The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The state redacted the names of petitioners before releasing the documents, to protect patients' privacy.

“I am a Vietnam Vet and can only imagine how things would have been,” wrote one PTSD petitioner. “While visiting in Colorado I had the benefit of trying cannabis in candy form…. and I felt wonderful. No thoughts of violence, self-deprecation, or hopelessness. My life would be different today.”

Illinois law lists cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS as qualifying conditions for cannabis, but is more restrictive than most other medical marijuana states. The Illinois Department of Health must approve any additions to the list.

An advisory board of doctors, patients, nurses and a pharmacist is looking over the petitions, and will make a recommendation after a public hearing on May 4. People can submit petitions twice each year, in January and July.

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