Editorials

Dope fiends in Springfield

Marijuana may be a wonder drug, it may be a helpful supplement that does little harm, or it may be snake oil. The science isn’t there yet to outline even the borders of its promise.

Yet we know it relieves suffering for some who most need it: cancer patients trying to fight nausea so they can eat and regain their strength; children suffering so many seizures that they can barely learn or grow.

The anecdotal evidence may later be backed by science, and mainstream medicine may embrace it in the near future, but for now we are caught in a twilight of regulation, cost and misinformation that puts relief out of reach for many. It is almost as if people suffering are being taunted by a cure they cannot obtain.

Insurance does not cover the drug. Doctors are not sure they can prescribe it without a visit from the DEA. Hospitals won’t touch it.

The science may be the main issue cited, but we suspect stigma and a greedy, bankrupt state government that saw a cash cow have not helped. Does Illinois collect a $350 fee from anyone else needing medicine? Is $400 an ounce reasonable for relief?

We can’t count on state lawmakers to do a primary duty such as pass a budget. We can always count on them to over-regulate, whether it be medical marijuana or police body cams or a heroin antidote.

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