New Illinois law allows medical marijuana pain prescriptions

Doctors in Illinois can now prescribe marijuana as a painkiller thanks to a new law intended to counter a growing opioid abuse epidemic.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law Tuesday allowing physicians to temporarily prescribe cannabis for , effective immediately.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 11,000 people have died from opioid overdoses since 2008. In 2016, opioid abuse killed nearly twice as many people as .

Rep. Kelly Cassidy was the House sponsor. The Chicago Democrat says the plan reforms pain treatment and provides more options to patients.

The law creates a pilot program which includes safeguards against the abuse of .

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The bill was SB336 .


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