The Trump administration says that defeating America's opioid epidemic is one of their top priorities. And while that is admirable, they're doing so with one hand tied behind their back by refusing to acknowledge that marijuana could be an alternative to the deadly drugs. And now more studies are showing just how wrong they are about cannabis.
Two new studies from two different states found that patients who use medical marijuana are far more likely to stop using opioids than those who do not. In a New Mexico study of 37 patients found that 80 percent of patients decreased their opioid use after using marijuana, and 40 percent stopped using the deadlier drugs altogether. And an Illinois study of 400 patients in the state found that 67 percent of them stopped using opioids after beginning to use medical marijuana.
These studies are hardly news though. Research and data already shows that states with medical marijuana have less opioid abuse. And others show that opioid overdose deaths decreased significantly in states with legalized recreational marijuana. So these studies from New Mexico and Illinois aren't groundbreaking claims, but rather confirmation of something that we already know.
And yet the Trump administration continues to push the idea that marijuana is not a viable alternative to opioids, and even claim that cannabis could actually be making the crisis worse! President Trump's anti-opioid commission released a letter in October claiming there wasn't enough data to support using marijuana as a substitute. And when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration's plans to fight the epidemic, he didn't mention using marijuana at all.
But every study that comes out, and it seems like there's at least one coming out each week, says that marijuana is not only a possible alternative, but that it's already being used as one in states with legalized medicinal marijuana. So what is it actually going to take before the Trump administration finally relents and acknowledges this fact? Or is it an impossible fight as long as noted anti-marijuana crusaders such as Sessions and Chris Christie remain in charge of fighting this crisis?
(h/t Merry Jane)