In a world full of pain, both physical and psychological, relief is hard to come by. Alternative medication is becoming more and more common, with more and more positive results. For those struggling with nausea from cancer, seizures from epilepsy or anxiety from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there’s one solution that seems to be the most effective above the rest, and it's cannabis.

When a majority of studies focus on the harm caused by the plant, it’s easy to neglect the positive outcomes. While reviewing public health records, researchers discovered that overall painkiller prescriptions declined, as well as opioid abuse and overdose deaths in states that allow medical marijuana. So medical marijuana solves the issue right? Wrong. In states such as Illinois, 39 medical conditions warrant the use of medical marijuana, which do not include illnesses that would greatly benefit from marijuana use, such as PTSD. Veterans who suffer from PTSD are often unable to control their symptoms due to the inability to receive medical marijuana.

A medical marijuana ID also requires the sacrifice of your piggy bank. Without the coverage of insurance, patients in Illinois are obliged to pay a $100 application fee, over $150 in other charges in the application process, and another $100 annually to maintain and keep it.

A boost from tax revenue from marijuana sales could be just what the doctor ordered for Illinois. If we follow in the steps of Colorado, Illinois could pull in nearly $200 million in tax revenue due to recreational cannabis sales. That means more money for education, improving school facilities and creating scholarships.

Contact Gov. Rauner and urge him to support and vote in favor of legislation approving of recreational marijuana.

Gina Panicucci

Hampton, Illinois

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