Illinois lawmakers consider fighting opioid crisis with legal marijuana

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An Illinois House panel has endorsed a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

The House Executive committee voted 8-3 Thursday. 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. 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.

Cassidy says she is working on cleanup provisions that she hopes will get committee approval next week before moving to the House floor.

The Senate’s approved the idea. But Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has fought previous efforts to expand medical marijuana. The bill is SB336.

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