As more Illinoisans apply for and receive permission from the state to use marijuana as a medical necessity, Gov. Bruce Rauner put a stop to further expansion of the program for 11 conditions Sept. 10.
Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 39, which would have included post-traumatic stress disorder among the 39 other approved conditions, and the Illinois Department of Public Health said that 10 medical conditions recommended by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board would not be added to the list of ailments for which marijuana is a legal treatment.
Mark Fitton of the Illinois News Network writes:
Rauner said adding additional conditions or diseases, at least for now, is premature.
"The pilot program is moving forward, but remains in its early stage," the governor wrote in his veto message.
"Cultivation centers are just beginning to grow their crops, and the first dispensary was licensed at the end of August. No patients have yet been served, and, consequently, the state has not had the opportunity to evaluate the benefits and costs of the pilot program or determine areas for improvement or even whether to extend the program beyond its pilot period," Rauner wrote.
So far, about 3,000 Illinoisans will be eligible for prescribed marijuana when it becomes available, possibly late this year.
Last month, Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to deny an extension of the pilot program from January of 2018 to four years from the opening of the first dispensary.
In his veto message of House Bill 3299, he instead suggested a four-month extension, saying that would cover delays in the program's startup.
The Rauner administration and the principal proponent of the pilot program, Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, are still discussing a possible middle ground.
Among the conditions rejected by Rauner for medical marijuana treatment:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Check out five other conditions rejected by Rauner at Reboot Illinois, including some chronic diseases.
- 5 fast facts you should know about Illinois taxes
- State Rep. Avery Bourne Q & A: Meet the General Assembly's youngest member
- How dependent are we on Illinois' sin taxes?
- Map: Illinois property taxes are the second-highest in the U.S.
- Want to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of government in Illinois? Use our Sound Off tool.
Sign up for our daily email to stay up to date with Illinois politics.