Governor considering medical marijuana bill for opioid patients

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Governor Bruce Rauner is considering allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients.

Rauner will be asked about Senate Bill 336. It is designed to help people avoid addiction to prescription painkillers and reduce overdoses by giving them temporary access to medical marijuana.

It passed in both the Illinois House and Senate.

Supporters of the bill think giving some patients access to marijuana instead of opioids as pain relief could help them avoid becoming hooked on prescription pills.

The bill would start what would be called the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.

It would also reduce wait times for some patients to get access medical marijuana.

The program would grant almost immediate provisional permits to buy less than 2.5 grams of cannabis from dispensaries every two weeks for up to 90 days.

The bill would eliminate the previously required fingerprinting and background checks for applicants.

Opponents of the bill think cannabis use could actually put patients at an increased risk of prescription opioid misuse.

Governor Rauner has not said how he feels about the bill or whether he plans on signing it.

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