Illinois appeals judge’s decision to add pain to medical marijuana conditions list

The Illinois Department of Public Health has appealed a decision to add severe pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in a case that could greatly expand access to the drug in the state.

The appeal comes weeks after a Cook County judge ordered the health department to add “intractable pain,” or severe and constant pain with no cure, to the state’s list of more than 40 qualifying medical conditions.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Ann Mednick of Rolling Meadows.

The 58-year-old petitioned the agency to add the condition, saying medical marijuana would have fewer side effects to treat pain for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and osteoarthritis than that opioids she’s been prescribed.

Public Health Director Nirav Shah denied Mednick’s request last year, saying there was a “lack of high-quality data” from clinical trials to add the condition to the list.

But Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Mitchell called Nirav’s reasoning “clearly erroneous,” citing medical journals that reviewed 45 clinical studies looking at MMJ’s effect on treating chronic pain.

Health Department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold declined comment, citing pending litigation.

Shah’s office has been a reliable opponent of expanding the MMJ condition list the past several years.

– Associated Press

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2 comments on “Illinois appeals judge’s decision to add pain to medical marijuana conditions list
  1. Rick on

    Makes me glad that Nirav Shah lives in a different state than I do.

    A friend of mine who was severely injured on the job switched from liquor and opiates to MMJ and hash oil to treat his intractable pain and it saved his liver and his life. Pain and PTSD should be on every state’s list of conditions in my opinion.

    You don’t have to be an MMJ user to know that, you just have to know a few people living with serious pain or suffering from PTSD who have seen the benefits of MMJ.

  2. Lawrence Goodwin on

    To set a righteous example, and to prove that the restoration of medical cannabis will NOT be obstructed any longer, Dr. Nirav Shah should be immediately fired for his arrogance in Illinois. Before moving west, he was largely responsible for similar types of obstruction in the New York Health Department. The man seems to represent the worst of the medical “profession” in this matter, which deserves as much blame as federal lawmakers for favoring synthetic pills over natural cannabis products (the latter were widely prescribed by America’s doctors from the 1850s onward). Absolutely disgraceful, as millions in Illinois and everywhere are still being thusly forced to suffer.

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