A new bill passed in Illinois on Tuesday allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients instead of opioids.
Local resident’s weigh the benefits and dangers of the new legislation.
David Phorsavong is one of the many that think Governor Rauner made a good decision.
“The Bruce Rauner thing going on, how he passed that law. i think it was a great idea of him, he’s thinking for the people.”
Governor Bruce Rauner signed the ‘alternative to opioids act’ in a bid to fight against the opioid crisis plaguing the state.
Phorasavong adds this law can help people with addiction.
“I think the benefits with marijuana are much better than the ones of opioids just because there’s a higher chance of being addicted or fatalities, just from the drug.”
The new law allows doctors to authorize medical marijuana for any patient who qualifies for prescription opioids. While the law passed with bi-partisan support, not everyone is on board.
Resident Donell Johnson says this is law is not the answer to the problem.
“Personally i don’t think drugs are the answer to try to get somebody off of drugs and introduce them to more drugs.”
But, some doctors argue using drugs to replace other drugs can have a net positive.
two thousand people died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2016. While cannabis has shown to have positive effects.
Dr. David Footerman specializes in alternative medicine and says medical marijuana is an alternative.
“Cannabis has the ability to be an enormous life saver, because it can treat pain, without attending heart rate, blood pressure, breathing.”
Dr. Footerman adds patients are better off getting legal access to cannabis, rather than potentially spiraling into an addiction to dangerous narcotics.
“If they’re going to get access to cannabis, that is much better regulated, much cleaner, smoother will be much more, which will help them feel better on it than some junk that you get on the street.”
Even with Tuesday’s developments and the passing of the ‘Alternative to Opioids act, Dr. Footerman is pessimistic on the future of medical marijuana prescriptions in Illinois.