Illinois adds IBS to medical marijuana program

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers in Illinois soon may qualify for a medical cannabis card.

A Cook County judge ruled that Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav Shah must reconsider his refusal to add IBS to Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program. The judge, like the others in trials involving migraines and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said Monday that the director based his decision on his own study and not the recommendations of a state-appointed medical cannabis advisory board.

Plaintiffs attorney Michael Goldberg agrees that the director is ignoring the advice of his own advisory board. “The advisory board has clearly said that there is therapeutic value to relieve the symptoms of IBS with medical cannabis,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said many people with IBS are prescribed painkillers that can make the pain worse.

“There are thousands of patients out there with legitimate conditions that are suffering when they’re being prescribed opioids,” Goldberg said.

However, Goldberg said this judge left Shah more wiggle room to again deny the condition by allowing his own study to be presented to the advisory board. The evidence in his study may be enough to sway the board to recommend against adding IBS to the list of approved conditions.

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders said IBS affects 10 to 15 percent of Americans.

IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said the department is reviewing the order and considering its next steps.

–Illinois News Network

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