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Medical Marijuana Advocates Push For Illinois Governor to Expand Program

Medical marijuana advocates are mounting a petition drive and social media campaign to convince Gov. Bruce Rauner to greatly expand the program in Illinois — but the governor hasn’t yet given any indication he would do so.

The campaign is driven in part by industry officials who fear their businesses won’t survive without more than the current 4,000 patients statewide. Joining them are patients with a variety of medical conditions including chronic pain and common arthritis, who say they need medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms without the harsh side effects of prescription drugs.

The petition drive has 16,000 signatures, and on Tuesday the Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition will post online videos featuring patients and medical officials urging approval. Rauner has until Feb. 1, advocates say, to render a decision on eight qualifying medical conditions recommended by the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. [Read more at the Chicago Tribune]

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