Today is a big day for Illinois, at least when it comes to cannabis and healthcare! Governor Bruce Rauner will sign, into law, a bill that expands IL’s current medical cannabis program to include opioid addiction. Although he was opposed, let’s just say this is what happens when pot pushes politics.
This year Rauner is up for reelection, that is if super rich, super personable, super cannabis friendly gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker doesn’t take the lead. Which is probably why Rauner is even dipping his cold, bloodless toes in the cannabis waters.
Don’t forget, our current medical cannabis PILOT PROGRAM technically expires in July 2020, but citizens and legislatures alike are strongly predicting the state going legal next year. I’m talking general use of cannabis for adults 18 and over type of legal. In the meantime, let’s go over how the bill expansion helps people addicted to opioid use:
- With a doctor’s certification, patients who are prescribed opioids could immediately start use of and purchase medical cannabis products without applying to the Dept. of Public Health.
- Certifications would be valid for only 3 months but can easily be renewed.
- Since Nov 2015, pot sales have reached $200 million. But just last year over 6 million opioid prescriptions were filled. Meaning ALOT more people will qualify for medical mary Jane starting TUHDAY.
Oh, it gets better. This bill expansion may do way more, aside from making Rauner push his pants, including:
- New medical cannabis applicants will not have to undergo a criminal background check
- They also will not have to submit fingerprints!
- Applicants who apply online with a doctor’s certification will receive a provisional registration that allows them to purchase cannabis products while they wait to be approved by the state
Well damn! And this is all on the heels of Rauner signing the bill to legalize industrial hemp this past Saturday! Check out the Chicago Sun-Times article here.
*pops cork* Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. This deserves a turn up!
Whether it’s pressure from a political opponent or his own changed mind, Gov Rauner has the VOTERS to thank for this move. Advocates, citizens, and patients are the push these politicians need. As they should be, because they are supposed to je working for us!
What are your thoughts on the new bill?