medical marijuana


Lawmakers see chance for green with recreational marijuana.

Marijuana legalization is getting another look in Illinois, particularly for the money it could bring the state. The state has overdue bills nearing $9 billion after a more than two-year budget stalemate, and some argue a little extra cash could go a long way.

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Kids who use medical marijuana for a qualifying condition might be allowed to use the drug on school grounds under a new proposal. The legislation would allow parents to give cannabis medication to those kids if and when they need it. 

Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, said about 250 kids around the state use cannabis-oil patches to treat a range of conditions from epilepsy to cancer. Although medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2013, Lang said the drug is still banned in schools no matter what.

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are considering medical cannabis as a solution.

State of Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health has appealed a decision adding severe pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

The paperwork filed Thursday in Cook County comes weeks after a judge ordered “intractable pain,'' or severe and constant pain with no cure, be added to over 40 qualifying medical conditions.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit from 58-year-old Ann Mednick of Rolling Meadows. She argues medical marijuana would help treat pain related to osteoarthritis without her having to use opioids for treatment. 

A judge has ordered the state of Illinois to expand the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use to include intractable pain.

The order issued Tuesday by Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Mitchell seeks to overturn a decision by the Illinois Department of Public Health rejecting pain that's resistant to treatment as a qualifier for medical marijuana use. Director Dr. Nirav Shah last year cited a “lack of high-quality data'' as a reason for denying a recommendation by the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board for the decision.