Marijuana OK'd in fight against opioids

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have sent the governor a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

The House voted 72-38 Thursday. The Senate followed with a concurrence 44-3. The plan would allow individuals who qualify for opioid prescriptions to apply for the state’s medical cannabis program.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy is the sponsor of the proposal in the House. The Chicago Democrat says it’s a less-addictive alternative to treating pain and could be a remedy to the growing number of opioid overdoses across the state.

It will give patients short-term access to medical marijuana and allow them to bypass some bureaucracy including fingerprint scans and background checks.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has fought previous efforts to expand medical marijuana access.

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The bill is SB336

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