State panel to evaluate eligibility for 15 new conditions for medical marijuana

A doctor who leads the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board says she’s not optimistic about the chances of expanding the state’s marijuana program based on previous decisions by Gov. Rauner’s administration.

Board chair Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple says the advisory board is moving forward and evaluating the 15 health conditions on its agenda. The advisory board is meeting Monday in Springfield.

The meeting could lead to new recommendations from the expert panel. But Rauner’s administration has twice before rejected the board’s suggestions.

Among the new ailments to be considered Monday by the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board are Lyme disease, panic disorders, persistent depressive disorder, and MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection.

The meeting could lead to new recommendations from the expert panel. But Rauner’s administration has twice before rejected the board’s suggestions.

Among the new ailments to be considered Monday by the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board are Lyme disease, panic disorders, persistent depressive disorder, and MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection.

Supporters want the med pot program broadened to include painful conditions that don’t respond to conventional treatment, saying the benefits outweigh the risks. But Rauner has called for conservative steps in increasing access to marijuana.

Currently, 39 conditions and diseases can qualify a patient to use medical marijuana in Illinois. The state’s medical marijuana law allows people to suggest new diseases for the program twice annually.

The board, which is made up of doctors, nurses, patients and advocates, has only an advisory role. And Rauner has rejected previous recommendations to expand access, including an effort by veterans that would allow those with post traumatic stress disorder to use medical marijuana.

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