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Director Shah tosses more patients to the curb

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

* This is ridiculous

The Illinois Department of Public Health has rejected intractable pain and autism spectrum disorder as medical conditions that could be treated with medical cannabis.

The petition to add intractable pain to the medical marijuana program was submitted in July 2015 to the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah on Monday noted in rejecting the petition that none of the information submitted demonstrated an individual diagnosed with intractable pain could benefit from medical cannabis.

So, instead, we condemn these people to a life of opioid use? Seriously, if the pain is truly intractable, then why deny suffering patients something that can help?

Shah’s rulings have been overturned numerous times in court. Let’s hope this one is as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    This just defies logic.

  2. - Boat captain - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Disgusting that people have to use opioids instead of marijuana. Big pharmaceuticals like it but it is cruel to the patient that’s dealing with their conditions. Unbelievable.

  3. - Homer J. Quinn - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    “NO! because reasons.”

    the bipartisan consensus on cannabis is similar to that on climate change: delay, delay, delay, using whatever justification is convenient. pretend there’s still a debate about safety. pretend 66% public support is meaningless because you’ve “heard things.” no matter how much evidence is stacked against you, pretend it’s just not quite enough.

  4. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Worse still, in an environment dominated by budget issues and a burgeoning “austerity” mentality, this decision guaranties another court case with its attendant costs. C’mon! Shouldn’t this person represent the patients first and the reign-pullers second?

  5. - working stiff - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    directors are appointed. doing as rauner says.

    rauner is business.

    pharmaceuticals are big business.

    any questions?

  6. - illinoised - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    I don’t believe his reasoning. Instead, I think he is just acting as a de facto morals policeman.

  7. - A Jack - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    Perhaps a reason that people are leaving the state is that now they can find treatment for their pain in places like Colorado and California without fear of persecution.

    Of course the lack of budget is the major reason, but all these other arcane laws certainly have a bearing.

  8. - the shizle - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    Obviously he didn’t inhale either!

  9. - Moby - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    I’m guessing that regardless of the Director’s professional opinion, he’s doing what Uncle Bruce tells him to do.

  10. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    How can anyone believe that marijuana doesn’t have some benefit to people in pain?

    I would hate to think this has anything to do with the Guv’s holdings in pharma companies. Or GTCR’s.

  11. - northshore cynic - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Intractable pain = Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner

  12. - Wow - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Following orders from the 2nd floor, from a billionaire who doesn’t care about people and their pain.

  13. - frisbee - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Gov. Rauner is upset because the Cassidy/Steans legalization bills now have polling data to support them and he is stuck toting the line of his buddies telling him bad things about Colorado. So this is what we get, a doctor claiming that cannabis can’t help those suffering from intractable pain or autism.

  14. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    Before adding Intractable Pain to the list of the qualifying conditions are eligible to receive medical cannabis in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health contracted with the Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center to do a systematic literature review and grading of evidence on cannabis use for treating chronic non-cancer pain.

    Medical Cannabis for Non-Cancer Pain: A Systematic Review

    – MrJM

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    Despicable, forcing people to seek dangerous, addictive hard drugs.

    Is the Reefer Madness administration not aware of the opioid epidemic, and the body count associated with it?

    I bet even the governor’s Denver friends have heard about it.

  16. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    The intractable pain ruling makes no sense.

    Autism spectrum disorder is complicated. Marijuana might help some and hurt others. I would give the doctors the right to prescribe, but require them to document effects.

  17. - Don Gerard - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    “If I were King there would be no marijuana - medical or otherwise - anywhere. I think it is bad for families. I’m a libertarian, but not when it comes to marijuana.” ~ Governor Bruce “Call Me ‘Bruce’; I work for YOU” Rauner, to me (et al), January 2015 at meeting of local municipal officials in Rantoul.

  18. - Homer J. Quinn - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    but good ol’ alcohol has never been bad for families, right bruce? wine’s just so wholesome.

  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    ===wine’s just so wholesome===

    Hey. It is.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Not a box at a time, though

  21. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    Such pointless careless cruelty. The Rauner Way.

  22. - ditto - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    IDPH shouldn’t be making decisions based on terminology. They should let docs use every tool in their toolbelt to assist their patients. If marijuana will help then absolutely.

  23. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    “Not a box at a time, though”

    Speak for yourself.

  24. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    @Dr. Shah- so much for the hypocratic oath.

  25. - illinoised - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    Dr. Shah, I will be thinking of your at 420.

  26. - Moby - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    The irony, and adsurdity, in all of this is that IDPH has been mandated, along with other state agencies, to address the opioid crisis. But yet, it is preventing a safer, possibly more affective substance for pain management from being utilized.

  27. - Homer J. Quinn - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    vaporizers have existed for decades and invalidate your concern-trolling about the dangers of smoke.

  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Saluki, your willful ignorance is appalling and downright mean.

    Plenty of sick folks testified in Springfield that med mar was a way for them to get off prescription opioids.

    What makes it your business to deprive them of a safer, non-addictive alternative to legal smack to relieve suffering? No skin off your nose.

  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===your willful ignorance is appalling and downright mean===

    And deleted. Always so much disinformation from that person.

  30. - justpeachy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    @Don Gerard-Obviously you have never experienced chronic pain that the docs are unable to provide any relief from with their current arsenal of drugs, they are only able to subdue the pain with Opioids. I hope and pray no one in your family ever experiences this and needs Medical Cannabis. So closed minded!

  31. - Anon Downstate - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Couple things regarding medical Marijuana….

    When folks talk about medical Marijuana, there are several different sub-sets involved:

    CBD (cannabidiol hemp oil, or CBD hemp oil). Normally only contains trace amounts of THC.

    THC (High concentrations of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol).

    CBD oil (and capsules, patches, etc.) are legal, but a large percentage of the commercially available products come out of Colorado. Why? Because, potential growers and harvesters in Illinois are unwilling to bear the risk of getting caught up into the potential legal concerns here in Illinois.

    THC is really what the fight is over, and I’m sure that Governor Rauner is telling the truth when he talks about hearing things out of Colorado from the people he listens to, but many of those comments are from parties that have vested interests in stopping, or at least slowing the spread of Medical Marijuana.

    IMO, I’m in favor of Medical Marijuana simply because it will break Big Pharma’s stranglehold over we, the health consumers.

    But from anecdotal experiences, the biggest problem with Medical Marijuana is that it tends to give the users a case of the “munchies” (eating more snacks) than creating “Reefer Madness”.

    Also, Medical Marijuana could become a very viable business here in Illinois, outside of the Chicagoland area. That’s jobs……

    We have fantastic Agricultural facilities at both Illinois State University and University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign (College of ACES).

    We have in our State Universities the facilities, knowledge, technology, and talent available to rapidly become a world leader in Medical Marijuana. We just have to decide to take the steps to make it happen.

  32. - Homer J. Quinn - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    “CBD oil (and capsules, patches, etc.) are legal”

    not anymore. the DEA declared CBD to be schedule 1 on 12/14/16.

  33. - frisbee - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    Anon Downstate- I agree that there is CBD oil derived from hemp and there is CBD oil derived from cannabis that is grown for medical purposes. The big difference is that the CBD hemp oil takes a far larger amount of hemp to make any type of substantial CBD content and since hemp and cannabis are bioaccumulators there will be large amounts of heavy metals and potentially other toxins in hemp CBD oil. Don’t buy it, even if it is available at the vape stores, gas stations online etc. The CBD oil derived from medical cannabis will have substantial amounts of CBD since it will be extracted from cannabis strains that are high in CBD content, like Charlotte’s Web, AC/DC, Cannatsu etc.

    Also the AOCS (American Oil Chemists Society) is very active and engaged in standardizing the oil extraction of CBD and other cannabinoids.

    The biggest problem with medical cannabis is that the feds are in the way. This results in lack of banking access for the industry, no insurance coverage of the costs of the medicine and absurd hurdles for studying this plant based medicine.

  34. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 5:29 pm:

    Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno of DuPage County should have a contrary position on this. As should every other collar county GOP member.


    Pass a real med-mar bill. Call it the opioid abuse prevention act. Do it now.

    People are suffering and some are dying.

  35. - ThingsArentAsTheySeem - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 8:22 am:

    - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 28, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    @Dr. Shah- so much for the hypocratic oath.

    Actually, Shah has never taken a Hippocratic oath because he has NEVER been a practicing physician. Going to med school does not make you a doctor. He used his med and law degree to work for pharmaceutical companies. Make sense now?

    Interestingly enough, although Shah has never has never practiced, he still uses the MD title… violation of the IL Medical Practice Act? Why are we allowing a man who has never seen a patient, make decisions about patient health? Ask any practicing physician about their thoughts on this. They will likely gasp and face palm.

    Thanks Rauner, man of the people.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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