Quinn Dombrowski

Illinois Judge Orders Officials to Reconsider Migraines as MMJ Qualifying Condition

An Illinois judge has ruled that officials must reconsider adding migraines to the list of qualifying conditions for a patient to be enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Rita Novak ordered Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah to reconsider evidence offered to the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board before they voted to approve cannabis as a migraine treatment. The ruling overturns Shah’s denial to add migraines to the list of eligible conditions even after the Cannabis Board’s approval.

The ruling is a response to a suit by an unnamed man who has been self-medicating with cannabis to treat his chronic migraines, from which he has suffered since adolescence. The man tried several common migraine treatments but, according to his attorney Robert Bauerschmidt, cannabis has proven to be an effective therapy.

“He’s been through everything,” Bauerschmidt said in the report. “Marijuana doesn’t cure it, but he finds the pain less severe and believes the headaches are less frequent when he’s using it.”

Another Illinois-based attorney, Mike Goldberg, has other pending lawsuits against the state that aim to add six other conditions to the eligible list. The ruling by Novak could be a “potential game-changer for the industry,” Goldberg said.

While the ruling does not mean the state must add migraines to the list, it does mean that officials must reconsider their denial.

According to surveys by the American Headache Society, about 16 percent of Americans suffer from migraine headaches.

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