BARRIERS TO PATIENT CARE
Many independent doctors, medical groups, and hospitals have established policy not to approve patients for cannabis treatment despite the fact their condition qualifies for the medicine. Illinois law requires a patient to have an existing relationship with their doctor and for the physician to sign an authorization form approving the patient for an Illinois Medical Cannabis Registry Identification Card. This has created a bottleneck in the system and serious and harmful barrier to care for patients.
With Illinois being one of the most restrictive states for approved conditions, most patients do not qualify for treatment. Research has proven patients suffering from a variety of debilitating conditions benefit from medical cannabis.
The Illinois Department of Public Health considers patient petitions twice a year to add conditions and diseases to the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
Illinois' program requires that patients applying for an Illinois Medical Cannabis Registry Identification Card undergo a full background check including fingerprinting.
Cannabis is the only medicine that requires patients to be fingerprinted before receiving treatment. This onerous requirement is an unreasonable and discriminatory standard that further restricts patient access and eligibility for treatment.