A Chicago area lawmaker plans to introduce a measure aimed at tackling the opioid crisis by providing medical alternatives to prescription painkillers.
Senator Don Harmon of Oak Park sponsors the bill. It lets those prescribed opioids for pain relief get a temporary card to use medical marijuana instead.
He says they want to reduce the number of people who become addicted and potentially overdose.
Related deaths have become an epidemic in Illinois, where the opioid-related death rate increased 120 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illinois created the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program in 2013 and is one of 29 states to have legalized medical marijuana.