Patients in the Land of Lincoln have submitted a petition to the state. Consisting of 269 pages of signatures, the document demands that over 20 medical conditions be added to the state’s program.
Illinois lists dozens of illnesses as treatable by medical marijuana, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS. Among the illnesses sought to be added to the list of treatable conditions are anxiety, insomnia, migraines, chronic back pain, gout, psoriasis, autism, migraines, and PTSD.
Research doesn’t support some of the treatment of all these conditions with marijuana, but some states take the approach that while we can’t prove marijuana will treat your illness, it probably can’t make it worse. That’s why California’s 1996 medical cannabis ballet read, in addition to several specifically mentioned diseases and symptoms, “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” New York state is going the opposite way, including comparatively fewer conditions in their program.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says it will be “cautious and conservative” as it decides whether to add any illnesses to their program. “We will not be able to approve all conditions,” Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, chair of the IDPH’s advisory board, told ChicagoBusiness.com.
Some of the most heartfelt pleas in the Illinois petition came from veterans suffering from PTSD.
“I am a Vietnam Vet and can only imagine how things would have been,” wrote one petitioner. “While visiting in Colorado I had the benefit of trying cannabis in candy form…. and I felt wonderful. No thoughts of violence, self-deprecation, or hopelessness. My life would be different today.”
Other pleas from the petition, acquired by the Associated Press, include a sufferer of chronic back pain, who wrote, “Cannabis will help me to sleep better, and it will help alleviate pain naturally.” A person with obsessive compulsive disorder also wrote, “Cannabis would cause my mind to stop obsessive thoughts and it could help me conquer my fears.”
Though research might not have caught up with these patients’ needs, the state is not ignoring their pleas. “Where science is lacking we must factor in our compassion more heavily,” said Temple.