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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Ad Campaign For Medical Marijuana Portrays Cannabis As Opioid Alternative


A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program.

The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

HCI Alternatives CEO Chris Stone says it's not just about promoting the product he sells. He says it's about moving away from pain killers with adverse side effects.

"To be able to say: "You know what? You're prescribing this, but is there any alternative to being able to not have to take these type of pain medications? Can cannabis be an alternative? Can ice compression be an alternate? There are other alternatives out there so you're not getting the pain medications that led to potential addictions."

Billboards going up across the state feature HCI patients who say their lives have improved since they moved away from oxycodone and related medicines.

The campaign comes as addiction to opioids is seen as a national epidemic.

Illinois last fall passed a law that requires Medicaid to cover addiction treatment calls for hospitals to collect opioid data, and mandates insurance companies cover an overdose antidote.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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