Judge Orders PTSD As Part Of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program

June 28, 2016
In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, Ashley Thompson inspects marijuana plants inside the "Mother Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill

In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, Ashley Thompson inspects marijuana plants inside the "Mother Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

A Cook County judge has sided with a veteran from Urbana, and ordered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder added to the list of diseases eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.  On Tuesday,  Judge Neil Cohen ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days.

The sternly worded ruling says Director Nirav Shah “engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view'' that was “constitutionally inappropriate.''

The case was filed by Army Veteran Dan Jabs, who served in Iraq.  

“I provided evidence from medical journals indicating that cannabis should be used for PTSD," he said.  "So if you want to argue with the science, go ahead, but you can’t just sit there and say no.”

Jabs’ attorney, Michael Goldberg, says Shah provided no evidence to dismiss the opinion of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

"We don't know if we had conversations with the governor - we have no idea what happened." he said.  "All we know is that he didn't give any reasons based on the record for his reversing the advisory board.  I think it's important to note that advisory board is made up of experts appointed by the governor’s office.  So that’s the governor’s own advisory board.”

Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the case is 'under review.'

Seven other lawsuits are pending in Cook County, from patients seeking other conditions added to the medical cannabis pilot program.

Those other conditions are chronic pain, osteoarthrosis, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, intractable pain, and autism. Goldberg notes this is just one decision, but hopes the judges in those pending cases will agree with Judge Cohen's reasoning.

"Hopefully this is a platform for the other patients to actually move from," said Jabs.

Governor Bruce Rauner is also expected to sign a bill that recently passed the legislature. Senate Bill 10 would immediately add PTSD, as well as terminal illness, to the list of qualifying conditions.  The measure would also extend the medical marijuana pilot program from 2018 to July 2020.

Story source: WILL