By Derrick Stanley
A judge has ordered health officials in Illinois to rethink their decision to leave migraine headaches off the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in the state.
A Cook County judge ordered Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah to reconsider evidence presented to members of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board before they voted to recommend approving marijuana to treat migraines.
Shah had previously denied a petition to add migraines to the list.
A suit filed by an unidentified man currently using marijuana to treat migraines prompted the court response. Attorney Robert Bauerschmidt said the middle-aged man has suffered from migraine headaches since adolescence , and has found narcotic painkillers and triptans, the most common treatment for migraines, to be ineffective.
"He's been through everything," Bauerschmidt said. "Marijuana doesn't cure it, but he finds the pain less severe and believes the headaches are less frequent when he's using it."
Illinois law allows medical marijuana for patients who have any of about 40 specific medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.
A different judge just last month ordered Illinois to add PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to the list of qualifying conditions.