Even before the first medical marijuana ID card has been issued, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana law to include more suffering patients. Earlier today, the House voted 98-18 to allow both adults and minors with seizure disorders to qualify for medical cannabis.
Illinois’ medical marijuana law, which was signed into law last August, is one of only three to leave behind seriously ill minors. The House amended SB 2636 to also allow the health department to develop rules allowing other seriously ill minors to qualify. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence.
Last Tuesday, all eight members of the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee who were present at the public hearing voted to advance a bill that would add seizure conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions to the state medical cannabis program. The bill, SB 2636, sponsored by Sen. Iris Martinez, would allow access to both adults and minors for this serious condition.
Unlike the 19 other states with workable medical marijuana laws, Illinois currently prohibits physicians from recommending the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients based on a seizure condition. It’s time for Illinois to stop leaving behind people with seizure conditions and the families that support them. Seizure patients and the parents of children with the condition should have safe access to a medicine that is safer than many pharmaceutical medications.