The Illinois Department of Public Health has rejected petitions to add intractable pain and autism spectrum disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for medical use, the Associated Press reports. In both cases, Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah said that neither petition contained information demonstrating that individuals with either diagnosis could benefit from medical cannabis.
Last year, Cook County Judge Neil Cohen forced public health officials to include post-operative chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder to the state’s qualifying conditions list after the Health Department rejected petitions for both conditions. His colleague, Cook County Associate Judge Rita Novak, also ruled that the state must reconsider adding migraines to the program; however the condition is not listed on the Health Department’s list of more than 30 qualifying conditions.
Under the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, patients are allowed to petition the Health Department to add “debilitating” conditions to the qualifying conditions list. The intractable pain petition was submitted in July 2015, while the autism petition was filed in October 2015.
It is possible that the petitioners could sue the department, forcing the matter to be adjudicated in the courts as with previous rejections.