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Almost 250 Illinois doctors publicly back medical marijuana

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013

* From a press release…

At a news conference Tuesday, April 16, a group of doctors will announce the support of nearly 250 Illinois physicians for allowing patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Specifically, the physicians have signed on to the following statement:

    “Licensed medical practitioners should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if their medical professionals have told them that such use is likely to be beneficial.”

The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on House Bill 1, which would make Illinois the 19th state to allow patients with certain conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. It would also establish a network of state-regulated cultivation centers and dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients.

“It should be up to physicians, not police and prosecutors, to decide whether medical marijuana is the right treatment for their patients,” said Dan Riffle, Deputy Director of Government Affairs with the Marijuana Policy Project. “Those who benefit from medical marijuana should be able to obtain it legally and safely. Our laws should promote the doctor-patient relationship, not the dealer-patient relationship.”

You can read the entire list of doctors by clicking here.

See anybody you know?

* Roundup of positive newspaper editorials from yesterday and today…

* Tribune: Medical pot for Illinois patients

* Rockford Register Star: Time to say yes to medical marijuana in Illinois

* Dispatch-Argus: Medical marijuana; why yes?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Mike M - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:31 am:

    How many doctors are there in Illinois?

    i.e. is this like 95% of them, or like .00002% of them?

  2. - Highland, Il - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:31 am:

    My eye doctor is on the list….

    He’s in a rock band, just saying….

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:33 am:

    Mike, these are just the doctors who are willing to publicly support med-mar. As always with stuff like this, there are likely many, many more.

  4. - Colossus - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    Top of my head, I know 4 more who are supportive in Springfield alone. They might even retroactively put their names on.

  5. - Amalia - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:46 am:

    don’t recognize any names, but what a great list of docs from the burbs! and not just Evanston and Oak Park, the usual progressive hubs. good lobbying tool.

  6. - James Hammans - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    Glad to see physicians supporting this. There’s a preponderance of evidence for cannabis’ medical efficacy. It also has an amazing safety profile compared to other classes of drugs such as opiates and benzodiazepines. Cannabis tinctures were a staple of American medicine up until the 1930’s when prohibition began. It’s about time we made good use of this drug.

  7. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    My personal physician is on the list!! Will call him with an attaboy…

  8. - MrJM - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    I’m not surprised that my doc isn’t on the list as his practice is in a very conservative community. Nevertheless, just one week ago, he told me that he not only favors the decriminalization (and heavy taxation) of marijuana but that he thinks that the medicalization of some harder drugs — prescriptions (and treatment) for heroin or cocaine addiction — is the only way out of our current Civil War on Drugs.

    Not only was it nice to find out that my doctor agrees with me, it was nice to know that my doctor’s mind isn’t bound by anti-scientific prejudices and habits.

    When he retires, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap to the forefront of this issue (if it hasn’t already passed him by).

    – MrJM

  9. - Question - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    When and where will this press conference take place?

  10. - Bluefish - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    My urologist is on the list (but I don’t have any ailments he could prescribe med-mar for).

  11. - reformer - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    Downstate Dems except Naomi and Dem targets will mostly vote No. There aren’t more than a handful of Republicans — the self-proclaimed champions of freedom — who will support the Lang bill. Why is it that conservatives are always in favor of the previous generation’s reforms, but opposed to contemporary reform?

  12. - Biz Guy - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    None of my doctors are on here. We should send the list to our doctors and invite them. One doctor I know supports it, and publicly. I wonder what the outreach process was.

  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    @Mike - there were 35,643 primary care and specialist physicians in Illinois in 2012.

    That means this letter represents less than 1% of them.

    Possibly even fewer, depending on what other doctors may be on the letter, such as eye doctors (opthamologists), etc. in which case the number represented would be even smaller.

    Not sure if any of them are big “names” in the field, either.

  14. - Mike M - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    Formerly Known As…

    Thanks! I couldn’t tell if this was something major or just a blip.

    I’m neutral on the topic and am trying to learn more.


  15. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    Mike M - Any time!

    You can actually find the link here:

    Kaiser Family Foundation is a very reputable source for such data and statistics.

  16. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    Dr Chapman of Normal is a psychiatrist. I thought he retired but I see he is still practicing. He must be about 80.

  17. - Freeze up - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    The only doc on the list in my area has an office on So. High Street in Port Byron. You can’t make this stuff up.

  18. - chefjeff - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    None from Champaign - Urbana? Didn’t they send the petition here?

  19. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    Hip hip hooray! This well-publicized, open, public show of support–backing by Physicians numbering nearly 250-strong–is indeed a powerful display and sends a message at such a key time, maybe a day before the big Vote, so that it simply CANnot be ignored by the Legislature, and hopefully will inspire some of the fence-sitters to jump off now into the “YES” Camp!

    Those patient Illinoisans suffering daily from Cancer, MS, HIV and other painful ailments–and their loved ones–can only hope and pray now, but at least with a brighter ray of hope with this major Announcement, that common sense in alleviating others’ unneeded suffering will finally prevail on this issue in the place we’re proud to say was home to perhaps the greatest (and certainly one of the most compassionate) Americans of all time, Abraham Lincoln–dear ol’ Illinois…!

  20. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 4:49 pm:

    Wow 250 of over 40,000, now that’s a real stateement of support.

  21. - Captain Illini - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 10:06 pm:

    The afflictions listed in the law are stringent, thus if regulated, should deter those looking to jump the clipboard. Geez, I know if I had any of those conditions, I’d want somebody to say a prayer and roll a fat one.

  22. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 8:28 am:

    To the people saying 250 doctors isn’t very many, how many doctors have publicly announced their opposition to the bill?

  23. - askingqestions - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:31 am:

    I am lucky enough to have had several conversations concerning medical marijuana with my pain management doctor. At first he didnt want to here about it, I enlightened him to several key issues concerning MMJ, as with any good doctor he started doing his own research, and now he is very well informed concerning the issue. He now is publicly supporting the isssue, and yes he is on the list of informed medical providers…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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