Medical marijuana use is increasing significantly in Illinois

The number of people in Illinois who use medical marijuana has risen by a whopping 83 percent just this year. According to numbers reported this month by the state, over 46,000 people are in the state’s medical marijuana program. It’s roughly a $12,000 per month business, and growers in the state are increasing their crop production. The number of Illinois physicians who are allowed to certify patients for medical marijuana use increased from 2,100 to 3,000 in the past year.

Marijuana helps ease pain related to a variety of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. However, the most common condition for which Illinoisans use marijuana is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many of those suffering from PTSD are military veterans. Marijuana has helped vets reduce or even eliminate their use of prescription antidepressants and painkillers. Two years ago, Gov. Bruce Rauner added PTSD to the list of medical conditions that qualify people for the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. Just this year, he again expanded the program to include those seeking to get off of opioids.

Although the movement to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes is growing nationwide, so far, “recreational” marijuana hasn’t been legalized in Illinois. Therefore, if you want to use marijuana for a medical condition, it’s essential to follow the state regulations to avoid legal problems.

It’s not uncommon for authorities to arrest Illinoisans for possession and other marijuana-related crimes. If you’re facing such charges, you need to take the matter seriously. An Illinois criminal defense attorney with experience in this area can help protect your rights and work to lessen the consequences to your future.