The Senate agreed 50-7 Tuesday with House changes to the plan extending a pilot program and to add post-traumatic stress disorder as a medical condition treatable with cannabis.An expansion of the state's medical marijuana program by 2 ½ years will now go to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who supports the plan.
Barely 6,200 patients have completed the fingerprinting and background checks needed before they may legally buy cannabis. Hence the excitement that Gov. Rauner agreed to let the program add thousands of potential new patients - which includes those suffering from PTSD symptoms and those whose doctors say they may only live six months or less.
The four-year pilot program was approved in 2014 but medical-cannabis sales were delayed until last November. The legislation extends the program from late 2017 to July 1, 2020.
Sen. Dale Righter, a Mattoon Republican, says lawmakers should slow down. He says they should review research about marijuana's possible adverse effect on PTSD symptoms.
Sen. William Haine, the Alton Democrat sponsoring the measure, says it can ease suffering.
Information provided by the Associated Press and Fox 32