* As we’ve already discussed, a bipartisan deal was reached on extending and expanding the medical marijuana program. It advanced a notch yesterday…
The Illinois House has approved a plan to expand the state’s medical marijuana pilot program by two-and-a-half years and add post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the list of allowed conditions.
Lawmakers voted 86-27 on Monday to advance the measure, which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner supports. It now goes to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.
Illinois’ four-year pilot program is set to sunset at the end of 2017. Under the bill, it will continue to July 1, 2020.
* Activists are cheering the progress…
“I’m thrilled,” said Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, a family medicine physician in Glenview who is chairwoman of the advisory board. “We were all concerned that this whole thing was going to go away.”
Anne Berg, a pharmacist and the agent in charge at Professional Dispensaries of Illinois, a suburban Chicago cannabis dispensary, said they hear from many people, particularly veterans suffering from PTSD, who are looking for an alternative to other drugs that either have been ineffective or caused unwanted side effects.
“I think it’s really going to help,” Berg said Saturday. “We’re going to help some people for whom everything else has failed. People who are looking for another, safe option.”
Watch our live session coverage post for rapid updates.