A statewide medical marijuana patient advocacy coalition has formed in Illinois.
The Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition (CPAC), comprised of various patient and medical marijuana advocacy groups, is "committed to making medical cannabis a viable and accessible treatment option for suffering patients," reads a news release from the coalition.
As part of its mission, the coalition will also work to ensure "that the patient perspective is represented" and "mobilize stakeholders to share their stories and opinions with lawmakers."
"While our members represent a diverse cross section of constituencies, our shared commitment to the success of the medical cannabis program is a commonality that will help us to collectively serve as a strong and active patient advocacy organization," said Daniel Frey, government relations director at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
The group wants Gov. Bruce Rauner to OK 11 new health conditions eligible for treatment under Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program.
"Illinois has taken the appropriate step to legalize cannabis for approved patients but the fact remains that after nearly two years since the passage of the Compassionate Use for Medical Cannabis Act, not one patient has received treatment," said Kurt Florian, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation Greater Chicago. "CPAC members are strong independent organizations and working together we can amplify our voices to ensure the program succeeds and patients benefit from a treatment that in some cases works where other medicine has failed."