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updated: 2/9/2018 1:30 PM

State appeals adding 'pain' as medical marijuana qualifier

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CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has appealed a decision adding severe pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

The paperwork filed Thursday in Cook County comes weeks after a judge ordered "intractable pain," or severe and constant pain with no cure, be added to over 40 qualifying medical conditions.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit from 58-year-old Ann Mednick of Rolling Meadows. She argues medical marijuana would help treat pain related to osteoarthritis without her having to use opioids for treatment.

State officials have argued there isn't enough evidence to add pain to the list. Health Department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold declined comment Friday, citing pending litigation.

A ruling in favor could greatly expand access to medical marijuana.

Illinois first approved a medical marijuana pilot program in 2013.

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