Some Illinois residents are having difficulty applying for the medical marijuana pilot program because some doctors are refusing to sign the official paperwork.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a qualifying condition in Illinois, but one doctor won’t sign off on his patient’s paperwork to use medical marijuana, Illinois Homepage reports.
Mindy Haile just wants to use rubs and salves on her aching joints. Haile said, “We’ve tried physical therapies, the water therapy, exercises, medications. And the medications have steadily increased because they’re not keeping up with the pain….I take 17 different drugs a day, $1,800 a month. I don’t want to smoke it, I don’t want to eat it, I just want to rub it on those joints that hurt.”
When speaking to her rheumatologist about medical marijuana as a treatment option, she said, “I talked to him about it and he was kind of quiet and then he said I cannot do that. He said we have a policy against it, we cannot participate in this program.”
Carle Physician Group, where Haile’s doctor practices, gives doctors the option to say yes or no, and she is bewildered by the response she received.
National Policy Director of Phoenix Botanical, Dan Linn said, “We know that these patients have been prescribed numerous types of medications that are much more dangerous than medical cannabis – yet we still have this stigma and fear surrounding this natural medicine.”
Illinois law changed over the summer, Linn said, “They revised the language so that now doctors simply certify that patients have one of the qualifying conditions and they’re being treated by that specific doctor. The idea was to make this a little bit easier for doctors, and in a lot of cases, their, but yet we still see a lot of resistance and reluctance to sign these certification forms.”
Haile received a note from her doctor stating that she is under his care and does have rheumatoid arthritis, but he refused to sign the state-issued forms. She cannot move forward until the forms are signed, so she is searching for a new doctor.