PENNSYLVANIA FINALLY LOOKS AT SCIENCE, APPROVES USE OF MARIJUANA TO TREAT OPIOID ADDICTION (Source blacklistednews.com) Making illegal or banning arbitrary substances does nothing to curb their use. In fact, as the increasingly deadly opioid crisis illustrates, it makes matters far worse. What does help to foster improvement, however, is when the state reverses prohibition. The most recent state to figure this out is Pennsylvania, who just added opioid addiction to the list of conditions for which it will allow people to obtain marijuana. Of course, total legalization would be ideal. However, this move by Pennsylvania lawmakers shows that the science can no longer be denied and bureaucrats have to finally admit it. “We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, wrote Marijuana.com in an email.
As Marijuana.com reports, Levine said that while medical cannabis won’t necessarily be the first or only substitute for other more established treatments in opioid recovery, marijuana may prove to be a viable option for some.
“We’re making medical marijuana available to patients if all other treatments fail, or if a physician recommends that it can used in conjunction with other traditional therapies,” Levine said. Although this is a very limited beginning, as attorney and director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Patrick Nightingale points out, this action is going to save lives. “Dr. Levine chose not to subject the additional four medical conditions to a 90-day comment period,” he told Marijuana.com. “No one expected it to happen with such speed, but this is all the better for patients who are suffering. Indeed, the real game-changer here is the decision to add opioid-use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.”
On top of the immediate benefit to those addicted to opioids, adding marijuana to the list of approved drugs for opioid addiction also “enables research to be carried out on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment opioid-use disorder because only approved conditions can be studied through our research program,” according to Levine.