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This Lawmaker Just Admitted To Being A Medical Marijuana Patient

In Cook County Illinois, one determined lawmaker just admitted to being a medical marijuana patient.

This Lawmaker Just Admitted To Being A Medical Marijuana Patient
<i class="fa fa-camera"></i> Cook County Government

A Chicago lawmaker just admitted to being a medical marijuana patient. Longtime human and animal rights advocate Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey just disclosed to the local press that he has been using cannabis under a doctor’s recommendation. It makes sense that he’s going public about his medical needs. Commission Fritchey has been a vocal proponent of marijuana law reform for years.

John Fritchey

Chicago residents are likely familiar with John Fritchey. He’s a former member of the Illinois House of Representatives and a current Cook County Commissioner. He’s also one of the biggest allies and advocates for marijuana legalization in the state.

Fritchey co-sponsored the bill that resulted in Illinois’ medical marijuana program back in 2013 and also aided in the decriminalization of cannabis possession. More recently, last November, Fritchey estimated that legalizing recreational marijuana would bring in $500 million in tax revenue to the state. He also teamed up with fellow Commissioner Luis Arroyo to propose a legalization referendum on the Cook County primary election ballots.

While marijuana legislation has been a hot topic in the past few years, citizens of Illinois may have been wondering why Commissioner John Fritchey has been so passionate about the subject.

One of the reasons is likely because cannabis law reform directly aligns with his progressive values. In his political career, he has made himself known as a human rights advocate, taking on causes like paid sick leave, parental leave reform and violence prevention. He even created the Cook County Violence Prevention, Intervention and Reduction Advisory Committee. He is also an animal rights activist.

And this lawmaker just admitted to being a medical marijuana patient.

In a statement to the news outlet Chicago Tribune, Commissioner Fritchey disclosed that he has been a medical marijuana patient since May 2017. While, for the sake of privacy, he did not publicize the exact reason for his choice of treatment, he did say that he consumes concentrates. Only at night though, and “not when he’s interacting with the public.”

Final Hit: This Lawmaker Just Admitted To Being A Medical Marijuana Patient

The fact that this lawmaker just admitted to being a medical marijuana patient shouldn’t be a huge deal. And yet it is. Consuming cannabis, even with a doctor’s recommendation, still carries a stigma. In his statement to the press, Commissioner Fritchey acknowledged this unfair attitude towards people who use cannabis.

“There continues to exist a belief among a lot of people that [medical marijuana] is just some back-door way to get access to cannabis. That can’t be further from the truth,” he said. “I want to work to help alleviate any sense of embarrassment or stigma that people may have. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of…I think it would be hypocritical of me to try to mainstream…medical cannabis, but not be willing to acknowledge I’m a patient.”

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Medical care and treatment is a private matter. Especially when the treatment in question is still so controversial. Given this, it is particularly laudable for Commissioner Fritchey to publicly disclose his status as a medical marijuana patient.

Chloé Harper Gold
Written By

Chloé Harper Gold is a writer and editor for High Times Magazine. When she’s not writing about cannabis or going to class, she likes to attend literary events and analyze the horror and science fiction genres.

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