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Rauner signs bill extending medical marijuana program

A law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed in July gave the state Supreme Court the authority to further clarify the newly defined "civil law violation" of possessing up to 10 grams of cannabis or drug paraphernalia. | Associated Press file photo

SPRINGFIELD — A bill extending Illinois’ medical marijuana program by 2½ years has been signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

In addition to extending the pilot program, the bill he signed Thursday adds PTSD and terminal illness to the list of qualifying conditions.

Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program got its start under former Gov. Pat Quinn and continued under Rauner, who for more than a year resisted expanding the program beyond the original 39 conditions and diseases listed in the law.

Illinois law allows people to petition the state to add health conditions to the eligible list, but Rauner’s administration had rejected all new conditions despite the advice of an expert panel that reviewed available medical evidence.

Earlier this week, a Cook County judge ordered the state to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment.