Multiple pending lawsuits in Illinois will challenge the decisions of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, which would force them to add at least six more conditions to the list of qualifying ailments. Last month a judge ruled that they would have to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a qualifying condition – which could open the door for other cases (especially any residing under the same judge) and significantly expand the number of patients who would qualify for medical marijuana.
This time, the judge did not require that the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board include migraine headaches, but did require that Dr. Nirav Shah re-present the evidence and petition to add the condition. This effectively overturned their previous denial of the condition and will at least give the petition another shot at passing. Unfortunately, it is not a victory until they approve it. Until then it is still up in the air, and it is possible that even after being presented with the evidence again that the board will still decide not to approve it.
The man behind the lawsuit and the petition to add migraine headaches to the list of qualifying conditions has chosen to remain anonymous because he has already been treating his migraines with marijuana. There are many patients who use medical marijuana, even though it is technically illegal because their state doesn’t have a program or the condition they have does not qualify under state laws – and usually these people feel the benefit of cannabis is worth the risk of going to jail (which should say something to those who deny these conditions).
“He’s been through everything,” Bauerschmidt said. “Marijuana doesn’t cure it, but he finds the pain less severe and believes the headaches are less frequent when he’s using it.”
For many people, medical marijuana is a kind of relief that they could have only hoped for previously. In this man’s case, it may not completely cure the migraine headaches, but it at least makes them less frequent and more tolerable. The people filing these petitions would rather have legal access than having to buy their medicine on the black market – but those in charge of the qualifying conditions don’t want to see the patient base grow faster than they are prepared for.
Other conditions that will soon see their day in court include irritable bowel syndrome, chronic postoperative pain, osteoarthritis, intractable pain, autism and polycystic kidney disease. Hopefully the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will take the evidence that marijuana can benefit migraine headaches and perhaps open up the option of medical marijuana for a number of patients; and if they are asked to re-review any other conditions, hopefully they will keep an open mind.