Blog Voices from the Frontlines
Drug, once rare, are now the in the U.S., surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, guns and HIV infection. The data show that the situation is dire and getting worse. Until opioids are prescribed more cautiously and until effective opioid addiction treatment becomes easier to access, overdose deaths will likely remain at record high levels.
As seen with many medical conditions relating to treatment with marijuana, research into the benefits of the herb’s uses concerning rheumatism is still in its infancy. However, there have been a few rather interesting studies to date.
By Gillian Mohney for Healthline
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah has introduced a bill to relax medical marijuana research regulations.
“On the one hand, it’s a political victory. I think having a bill that even touches on the subject from Orrin Hatch is considered a win, but on the other hand, we’re of the mind the research is there, the research is done.[Medical marijuana] programs have been around for 20 years. A research bill was more appropriate in the late 1990s and early 2000s.” - David Mangone, JD
Trump: Declare a National Emergency so states can use cannabis to fight opioid overdoses. - Americans for Safe Access
Opioids claim the lives of 91 individuals every day. With nearly 60,000 overdose deaths in 2016, 60% of which were related to prescription opioids, it is clear that there is a major public health crisis in our country. That is why we are launching our End Pain Not Lives campaign.
Dr. Nagel, who wrote an excellent book on chronic pain called Needless Suffering; How Society Fails Those With Chronic Pain, has been speaking on the issue since his book came out. I shared with him what feels like an intensifying anger and parallel hopelessness that has set in among some of our readers and presumably among many more chronic pain patients.
The Effects of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on Adverse Opioid Outcomes - Americans for Safe Access
This paper uses a unique marijuana dispensary dataset to exploit within- and across-state variation in dispensary openings to estimate the effect increased access to marijuana has on narcotic-related admissions to treatment facilities and drug-induced mortalities. I find that core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) with dispensary openings experience a 20 percentage point relative decrease in painkiller treatment admissions over the first two years of dispensary operations.
This week, we submitted comments relating to the efficacy and medical usefulness of cannabidiol as a medical treatment. In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice in the federal register asking for public comments on cannabidiol (CBD) and 16 other substances prior to a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from November 6-November 10. The FDA will consider the comments on these substances in creating a response to WHO which will determine what, if any, international restrictions will be placed on the listed substances.
I thought it might be useful for other reporters, and people who are simply concerned and/or curious about fentanyl, to figure out which oft-reported claims are true, partially true, or flat out wrong. So I got in touch with the Stanford anesthesiologist Steven Shafer, an expert in the pharmacology of pain medicine. I've edited our exchange for length and clarity.
Halting the opioid epidemic requires aggressive action across multiple dimensions, including informed, active, and determined front-line leadership from health clinicians working in every setting throughout the nation, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication developed at the request of the National Governors Association to assist the nation's governors as they work with clinicians to counter the opioid crisis.
Councilmember David Grosso Sets Example for Local Leadership in Opioid Crisis - Americans for Safe Access
Washington D.C. — District of Columbia Councilmember David Grosso introduced improvements to the nation’s capitol’s medical cannabis program yesterday, recognizing the power of cannabis to fight the opioid crisis. The Medical Marijuana Improvement Amendment Act of 2017 reduces major barriers that previously existed in D.C.’s medical cannabis program. Councilmember Grosso is joined by Councilmembers Vincent Grey, Robert White, Jr., and Brianne Nadeau in introducing this important bill.
The legislation, which shares components of model legislation drafted by Americans for Safe Access, increases access to medical cannabis for the residents of the District of Columbia - particularly those who struggle with chronic pain. Significantly, it allows a patient to receive cannabis on the same day a patient is issued a doctor’s recommendation, like any other medicine, and allows for delivery of medical cannabis. It also allows a patient without a primary care physician to self-certify a medical condition through a signed affidavit. Low income patients who struggle to pay for doctor's visits will particularly benefit from these provisions.