Metro-East News

Judge says certain pain should be cause for medical marijuana prescriptions

A state judge has ordered that intractable pain is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

The Illinois Department of Public Health rejected intractable pain — resistant to treatment — as a qualifying illness for use of medical marijuana, but a Cook County judge overruled that decision and ordered the agency to add the condition Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But don’t make an appointment yet: the change is on hold as IDPH intends to appeal, the Tribune reported.

The woman who filed the lawsuit, Ann Mednick, of Rolling Meadows, suffers from osteoarthritis and must take opioid narcotics because medical marijuana is unavailable, according to the Tribune.

The former Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had voted 10-0 to recommend adding intractable pain to the list for marijuana, but it was twice overruled by IDPH Director Nirav Shah.

The judge stated in his ruling that Shah had stated the condition was not listed by the World Health Organization as a unique medical condition, but the advisory board had cited codes that recognized the condition, and 45 clinical studies of marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain, according to the Tribune.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald