* This is the third time a judge has done something like this in just the past month…
A Cook County judge today ordered the head of the state health department to reconsider adding irritable bowel syndrome to the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.
Circuit Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos ruled that Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah violated procedural due process rights when he used his own review standard to deny the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation to add IBS to the list.
Beyond that, Demacopoulos ruled, the controlling statute and guidelines that govern Illinois’ medical marijuana program are silent regarding what kind of standard the director can use when issuing final decisions based on board recommendations.
“There is no IDPH rule, nor is there any language in the [Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program] Act, empowering the [d]irector to conduct his own investigation or add materials to the record that were not considered at the hearing,” Demacopoulos wrote in her nine-page memorandum and order.
While it appears Shah employed a standard to consider evidence from “adequate, well controlled clinical trials,” Demacopoulos ruled, it’s a standard the plaintiff did not have a chance to challenge before a decision was made.
“The [d]irector’s supplying of evidence post-hearing indicates demonstrable prejudice to the plaintiff and therefore serves as a basis for reversal,” she wrote.