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Medical marijuana, more popular than ever, could still cost you your job in Illinois

Medical marijuana is more popular than ever in Illinois, despite the fact that recreational marijuana has been legal for more than a year. In fact, data indicates the spike in medical marijuana usage may be because of recreational marijuana, which is taxed at a much higher rate.

But it’s also a resource for doctors and patients struggling with chronic conditions and looking to avoid using opiates.

“My thought process is, if you can reduce opiates, if you can start living your life more, then it’s a wonderful medication,” said Dr. Rahul Khare, Innovative Express Care.

Some doctors insist the increase in medical marijuana consumers reflects growing demand for effective and legitimate pain treatments; Khare said he has certified more than 13,000 Illinoisans for medical marijuana in the last five years.

According to the latest statewide data, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder top the list of reasons to obtain a medical marijuana card. The report also notes the state saw a jump of more than 30% in the number of new patients signing up for an Illinois cannabis card in 2021, with the largest percentage of new patients between the ages of 31 and 40.

But medical and recreational marijuana consumers face a common dilemma: potentially losing their jobs for using a legal substance. [Read more at ABC 7 Chicago]

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