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Medical marijuana bill discussed for spinal cord injury victims

Even with the protection of a helmet, there may be a risk of spinal cord injury arising from a motorcycle accident. A motorcyclist struck by another driver's negligence can be thrown from the bike, and the fall may result in serious injury.

Spinal cord injuries can result from a variety of situations involving a broken neck or back. Motor vehicle accidents and motorcycle accidents are frequent contributors. Some spinal cord safety advocates believe that preventative legislation, requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, should be passed to complement the proposed medical marijuana bill. Although other American states have such laws, Illinois does not presently have a helmet requirement.

There may also the issue of pain management for spinal cord injury victims. In addition to more traditional options, Illinois readers may be surprised to learn that a sizable number of Illinois physicians -- nearly 250 -- recently expressed public support for legalizing medical marijuana use for certain types of patients.

The conditions earmarked for such alternative treatment include cancer, spinal cord injuries, progressive diseases of the nervous system such as Parkinson's, and severe cases of HIV/AIDS. In addition, there may be other situations that qualify for medicinal marijuana use, such as patients with allergies or severe side effects to more conventional pain medications.

The public showing of support comes in time for a bill before the state House of Representatives, titled House Bill 1. Yet Illinois is not alone in considering legalizing marijuana use. In fact, 18 states have passed legislation authorizing doctors to prescribe marijuana under certain conditions.

The fact that spinal cord injuries were included in the listing of conditions is notable. Such injuries often result in more than just impaired movement or partial paralysis. Other bodily functions may also be affected and result in chronic pain.

Source: rawstory.com, "Illinois physicians call on legislature to make marijuana legally available," Eric W. Dolan, April 16, 2013

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