Lawmakers look to expand the accessibility of medical marijuana with a new bill

Illinois lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow medical marijuana to be used in place of prescription painkillers. It would make it easier to get medical marijuana by striking out requirements for patients to get fingerprints and background checks. That also means patients could no longer be denied because of criminal convictions. Oak Park Democratic Senator Dan Harmon, says it is in response to patient testimony and research that shows marijuana would cut a dent in the opioid epidemic. Opioid abuse has been linked to 11,000 deaths since 2008.

It now heads to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk, and he has 60 days to make a decision. Some doubt whether he would approve this bill, since he’s been opposed to expansion in the past.