Illinois Senate Committee Passes Bill Extending Medical Marijuana to Opioid Users

Illinois Senate Committee Passes Bill Extending Medical Marijuana to Opioid Users

The bill would allow people who have been prescribed opioids to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card.

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February 8, 2018

SPRINGFIELD — A bill that would allow people who have been prescribed opioids to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

The measure, SB336, passed the Senate Executive Committee 16-1, with Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, casting the lone no vote.

If signed into law, it would amend the medical marijuana program to allow those prescribed opioids to apply for medical marijuana instead, the idea being to provide a safe alternative to highly addictive and sometimes deadly opioids.

“Research shows that as the number of opioids prescribed has risen over the past few decades, so has opioid addiction, overdose and death,” said state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, the bill’s main sponsor. “This is a crisis, and it is rapidly getting worse. Research has also shown that medical cannabis is a safe alternative treatment for the same conditions for which opioids are prescribed.”

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