A Robust Medical Marijuana Program Would Make Sense in Illinois

We live in a harsh world, one filled with pain, both psychological and physical. Despite the hardships of our modern existence, relief is extremely difficult to come by, especially when looking for help from the traditional medical industry. Alternative medicines are gaining popularity and becoming increasingly common, with more and more anecdotal evidence of positive results.

For anyone struggling with a host of serious diseases, from nausea to epileptic seizures, cancer, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder, there appears to be one treatment that is more effective than any others are, including prescription drugs, and it is marijuana. While the vast majority of past research focused on the perceived harms caused by the plant, it was too easy to dismiss the positive outcomes.


While analyzing public health data, researchers noticed an overall decline in painkiller prescription rates, along with decreasing opioid abuse and overdose rates in states permitting the use of medical marijuana. It would make sense for medical pot to resolve the issue, but in states like Illinois, only 39 medical conditions qualify patients to use pot, and they do not include many common ailments.


Some illnesses that would respond well to marijuana treatment, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are not on the state’s list of qualifying conditions. Veterans suffering from PTSD have no choice but to endure the symptoms simply because they cannot access medical weed, even though it is quasi-legal and should be readily available to them and countless others.


Unfortunately, the very few that do qualify for pot use must pay dearly for it. Patients must have a medical marijuana ID, and because insurance coverage does not include cannabis treatment, patients in Illinois must pay an application fee of $100, more than $150 in processes for applying, and a further $100 in annual renewal fees to maintain and keep it.

The state of Illinois would benefit enormously from a boost in tax revenues. Legal marijuana sales could just be what the state needs to revitalize its economy. If Illinois makes the same choices as, say, Colorado, recreational sales of cannabis alone could generate nearly $200 million extra for state coffers. Such vast sums of monies could fund education, improve school facilities, and create scholarships.

Residents of Illinois should contact Governor Rauner if they want a legalization bill to pass. The citizenry has a duty to petition him to support legislation and vote in favor of the adult use of marijuana.

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