CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health has appealed a decision to add severe pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in a case that could greatly expand access to the drug in the state.
The appeal filed Thursday comes weeks after a Cook County judge ordered the health department to add "intractable pain," or severe and constant pain with no cure, to the list of more than 40 qualifying medical conditions.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Ann Mednick of Rolling Meadows. The 58-year-old petitioned the agency to add the condition, saying medical marijuana would have fewer side effects to treat pain for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and osteoarthritis than the opioids she's been prescribed.
"Opioids have wreaked havoc on my life and I want nothing to do with them," she wrote in a Friday opinion piece for the Chicago Sun-Times. "Cannabis can ease pain without any of those side effects."
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