Illinois Legislature Considering Using Medical Marijuana as Alternative to Opioids

Many studies recently argue that states with legalized forms of marijuana have lower rates of opioid abuse. And now some states are taking even more drastic steps to continue those trends.

An Illinois legislative panel has endorsed allowing people with opioid prescriptions to qualify for the state's medical marijuana program. The Illinois Senate has already approved the measure, but the proposal would still need to pass the Illinois House.

But the fate of the bill is somewhat in jeopardy due to current Governor Bruce Rauner. The incumbent Republican has resisted most efforts to expand the list of qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program, and it's not clear if he would support this new measure. 

The state of Illinois has made a series of pro-marijuana moves in recent weeks. Last week the legislature passed a bill that would students to use cannabis products at school, and earlier this week they passed a bill to legalize hemp farming.

Many see Illinois as a potential legalized recreational marijuana state in the near future. The Democratic nominee, J.B. Pritzker, running against Rauner in this year's election endorses recreational cannabis. If the Democrats are able to flip the governor's mansion, that means we might hear a lot more news regarding Illinois and cannabis.

(h/t U.S. News and World Report)


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