Chronic Pain To Be Added To State Medical Cannabis Program

September 22, 2016
 
In this Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals called trichomes, are a few weeks away from harvest in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill.

In this Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals called trichomes, are a few weeks away from harvest in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Illinois’ Public Health Director has been ordered to add post-operative chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the state medical marijuana program. Cook County Circuit Judge Neil Cohen has given Nirav Shah thirty days to act. The Wednesday ruling was the latest in a series of lawsuits to expand the list of qualifying conditions.

Plaintiffs’ Attorney Michael Goldberg says Shah and the Department of Public Health was trying to change the rules for deciding what conditions qualify for medical marijuana quote ‘mid-stream’:

"There was one set of rules that had applied when it denied the conditions, and now that we’re on appeal, they wanted to come to the judge, and say ‘we have new rules’ – and the judge says no, you can’t change the rules in the middle, you have to use the same rules that you applied when you told these people when they could have their hearing.”

Shah formerly rejected chronic pain as a qualifying condition despite a recommendation from the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

Goldberg says the case was continued to November 3rd, to ensure Shah has either complied with the order, or to explain why he hasn’t.

Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the department is reviewing the judge’s ruling, and consulting with the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Other pending lawsuits promote autism and osteoarthritis as symptoms for which medical marijuana would be allowed.

Story source: WILL