Rauner: Yes to medical marijuana, still no to recreational

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to walk the line on marijuana in the state.

The same week that the Illinois Department of Public Health said 44,000 people in the state have asked for a medical marijuana card, Rauner once again said he’s OK with medical marijuana.

The governor proudly stood by a new law that he signed to allow people to swap an opioid prescription for a medical marijuana script.

Related: Medical marijuana dispensary license offered for Davenport location

“We studied the issue of whether we should make [marijuana] available for chronic pain. We studied it because there are pros and cons because cannabis is addictive,” Rauner said. “But we signed a law that basically said where opioids would otherwise be prescribed, we want to make medical cannabis available. Because it is less addictive than opioids.”

But the governor remains opposed to recreational marijuana because he says it’s just a massive social experiment, and no one know what’s going to happen.

“What I’ve done is visit governors of other states [where marijuana is legal] and medical professionals, and what most of them have recommended is that we in Illinois should wait and watch,” the governor said. “Because they’re learning a lot of painful lessons. And it is not all been good.”

However, Rauner said he’s willing to study the idea of recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Read More: New law expands access to medical marijuana in Illinois to curb opioid use

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