A measure awaiting the governor’s signature in Illinois would allow medical marijuana to be recommended to patients instead of prescription painkillers and do away with requirements that cannabis patients be fingerprinted and undergo background checks.
Under the proposal, which was passed by the state’s legislature earlier this week and sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner, new applicants for medical marijuana treatment would also no longer be denied based on past criminal convictions. The measure also would allow new applicants to begin getting cannabis from dispensaries more quickly after a doctor’s recommendation.
The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Illinois legislature.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon, told the Chicago Tribune that he wasn’t certain that cannabis would curtail opioid addiction, but said it was worth a try.
“The only two things I know for certain is: Opioids kill people, and marijuana does not,” Harmon told the paper.
Rauner hasn’t said whether he’ll sign the bill. The governor opposes a separate measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for general adult use without a medical need. His opponent in this year’s election, J.B. Pritzker, does favor broader legalization.