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Cannabis Patient Advocacy CoalitionThe Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition (CPAC) is releasing a series of videos and testimonials as a part of its #ApproveThe8 Campaign. A series of short videos featuring Illinois patients make a heartfelt appeal to Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah to approve the 8-debilitating medical conditions that were recommended by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board in October 2015. CPAC will release a video or graphic testimonial each day leading up to February 1st, the department’s deadline to either uphold the board’s recommendations or reject the conditions from being added to the program. The testimonials will also encourage the public to sign a petition asking the Rauner administration to make medical cannabis accessible to more patients.

The campaign will launch January 19th at 9:00am with the story of an Iraq War Veteran who explains his experience in combat after entering the military just 29-days before September 11, 2001. He makes a personal plea to Governor Rauner to approve Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “Over the last six years here is a list of 33-pages, front and back of medication that the VA has prescribed me,” Jonathan Byrne of Cary, Illinois says in the video. “The truth of it is it’s (medical cannabis) the only thing that works and treats my symptoms. The veterans need help we are losing veterans at the rate of 22-a day. Please do something, do something.”

Other testimonials include:

  • “The opportunity to use medical cannabis to relieve my fibromyalgia symptoms has been life-changing for me. I went from taking multiple pain medications daily to no pain medication at all. Please allow other suffering patients this same opportunity.”

Sarah Wright, Rock Falls

Online Medical Card
  • “On behalf of my 7-year old son and others who may not have words to express, I call on the Rauner Administration to accept the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation and make medical cannabis available to autistic children.”

Patricia Ilm, Dekalb

  • “Now that Governor Rauner has had time to evaluate the benefits of the program, it’s time to uphold the board’s decision and allow suffering patients the opportunity to experience the relief and improved quality of life so many are experiencing from medical cannabis.”            

Jim Champion
Patient & Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Member

  • “Having access to this alternative and natural medicine will give me a chance at a better life where I can withhold a job or meet friends out for dinner, a life where my pain doesn’t control me.”

Steve Lloyd, Elgin

“These are real stories that prove medical cannabis is life-changing and helps relieve the symptoms of very serious illnesses,” says Maureen Bake, registered nurse and member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association. “Patients should have the right, regardless of their diagnosed condition, to use the most advanced and effective medical treatment available. We are asking Governor Rauner to walk in our shoes, he would want the same relief.”

The 8-conditions under consideration are Autism, Chronic Pain due to Trauma, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Chronic Post-Operative Pain, Intractable Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Osteoarthritis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Visit to view campaign materials beginning January 19th at 9:00AM CST.

Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition (CPAC) represents a diverse group of stakeholders committed to eliminating barriers to medical cannabis so patients can benefit from this life changing treatment. Our coalition partners include: AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Americans for Safe Access, CBD Education, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Illinois Cannabis Industry Association, Illinois Women in Cannabis, Marijuana Policy Project, Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, Patients Out of Time, Veterans for Compassionate Care, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. For more information visit:

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