medical marijuana

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.

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The Illinois attorney general's office has told a federal court it will allow a suburban Chicago school district to administer medical marijuana to an 11-year-old leukemia patient to treat her for seizure disorders.

The commitment made to Judge John Blakey on Friday came two days after the student's parents sued Schaumburg-based District 54 and the state for the girl's right to take medical marijuana at school. Illinois' medical cannabis law prohibits possessing or using marijuana on school grounds or buses.

JENNIFER BRDLIK

The parents of a suburban Chicago elementary school student are suing School District 54 in Schaumburg and the state of Illinois for the right to use medical marijuana at school.

The Chicago Tribune reports plaintiffs of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, who are identified by initials, contend the state's ban on taking the drug at school is unconstitutional. They say it denies the right to due process and violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

JENNIFER BRDLIK

Illinois could see changes this year that expand access to medical marijuana, as operators say the number of patients allowed to buy the drug is too low to recoup investments.

The Chicago Tribune reports that retail sales of medical cannabis in Illinois only topped about $9.3 million last month. Revolution Enterprises CEO Mark de Souza says his two marijuana cultivation facilities in the state are operating at less than 30 percent capacity.

Medical marijuana is still new to Illinois, but some lawmakers are taking a look at expanding its use to help stem the opioid epidemic.

State senators heard from recovering opioid addicts on how marijuana has helped them manage chronic pain from injuries. Ingalore Wood of Auburn said opiates made her angry and reluctant to leave the house. Then she switched to medical marijuana.

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