A judge in Illinois has ordered officials to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, a ruling that could significantly expand access to the drug. The Illinois Department of Public Health had rejected intractable pain – defined as pain that’s resistant to treatment – but Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell ordered the agency to add the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is on the list of about 40 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but osteoarthritis is not, nor is a general or chronic pain. However, conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and severe fibromyalgia have been approved by the state.
“The state needs to get together.” Mednick had previously petitioned the state to put the intractable pain on the marijuana treatment access list, and the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board agreed it should be on the list, voting 10-0 to recommend adding the condition.”
The judge in his Friday ruling found that Shah’s decision was “Clear lyerroneous,” noting that the director said the condition was not listed in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and related ICD or Health Problems by the (WHO) World Health Organization and was not recognized as a unique medical condition.
There is now a request set out by two medical journals to add pain cited papers that together reviewed 45 clinical studies of marijuana to treat chronic pain. The judge ordered Shah to add the condition to the list of 40 or so qualifying medical conditions but did not specify when the director must do so.
In 2018, a new law was signed and passed which allowed opioid patients have access to medical marijuana if they have a medical cannabis card. The medical cannabis card allows patients to become apart of a medical cannabis programme where they have easy access to medical cannabis in dispensaries. In Illinois alone, dispensary sales brought in $200 million back in the year 2015.