Rauner Rejects Additional Conditions for Med Marijuana, Panel Chair Criticizes

 
Dr Leslie Mendoza Temple, chairman of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, presides over the board's public meeting to consider whether to expand Illinois' nascent medical marijuana program to include the treatment of additional diseases an

Dr Leslie Mendoza Temple, chairman of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, presides over the board's public meeting to consider whether to expand Illinois' nascent medical marijuana program to include the treatment of additional diseases and disorders. Monday, May 4, 2015, in Chicago.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has issued a broad rejection of proposed additions to the list of diseases that can be treated with medical marijuana in Illinois. 

The announcement from the Department of Public Health rejects 11 diseases such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that were recommended for coverage by an advisory board.  At the same time, Governor Rauner Thursday vetoed a bill that took a legislative route to approve PTSD for medical marijuana treatment.

Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Chair Leslie Mendoza Temple said she doesn’t understand Rauner’s thinking. 

The Chicago area physician says she sees a lot of patients waiting to use the drug.

“I don’t see the rationale of putting these conditions off, because the whole process is new," she said.  "So what advantage is there to delay adding more conditions from an administrative point of view?”

The advisory board meets again next month, and Temple expects to see more petitions from people with some of the same conditions.  Her patients include those suffering from PTSD.

"We're potentially losing lives with delays like this," Temple said.

Adding to the list of 40 approved illnesses (conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis) would have broadened the potential base of patients when Illinois’ first medical marijuana dispensaries open later this fall.

Story source: WILL