Medical Cannabis Advocates Call on Trump Administration to Use all Tools Available to Fight Opiate Crisis

Americans for Safe Access Submits Comments at Trump’s first official meeting to address drug addiction, opioid abuse

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, June 16th, Governor Chris Christie (NJ) will chair the first meeting of the President’s commision on Drug Addiction and Combating Opioid abuse. Christie is joined on the Commission by Gov Charlie Baker (MA), Gov. Roy Cooper (NC), Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Professor Bertha Madras, Ph.D.

The Commission will solicit testimony from invited groups including Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, National Council for Behavioral Health, Shatterproof, Addiction Policy Forum, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Young People in Recovery, and the American Academy of Addiction psychiatry.

The Commission is also tasked with identifying federal funds to use for combating drug addiction, assessing the availability of drug addiction treatment services and overdose reversal throughout the country, identifying best practices for addiction prevention, which include health care provider education, reviewing literature evaluating the effectiveness of education messages to youth and adults relating to opioids along with identifying and evaluating existing federal programs to prevent and treat drug addiction.

Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, has submitted comments to the Commission detailing how medical cannabis can be used as a tool in fighting the opioid epidemic. States across the country that have medical cannabis programs have a significant reduction in opioid related deaths, and fewer opioids are prescribed in states with medical cannabis programs. The comments detail the use of cannabis in conjunction with opioids, the health benefits of cannabis compared to opioids, and the financial costs to programs like Medicaid when comparing medical cannabis states with states that do not have programs.

What: President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis Meeting
When: Friday June 16th, 12:30 PM- 2:30 PM
Where: Eisenhower Executive Building Washington DC, available through live stream to public at
Who: For a full list of speakers please view the meeting agenda.

“With nearly 60,000 overdose deaths in 2016, 60 percent of which were related to prescription opioids it is clear that there is a public health crisis in our country. On behalf of millions of people who have been affected by this epidemic, we hope that the Commission will earnestly listen to all available options presented to them,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. “Cannabis has been proven as an effective tool for alleviating chronic pain, without the dangerous and deadly side effects that come with prescription pain killers. And according to the DEA, there are no recorded overdoses from cannabis. In order for the 30 states with medical cannabis programs to continue seeing a nearly 25 percent decrease in the opioid overdose deaths, it’s crucial that we pass the bipartisan CARERS Act, introduced yesterday in the House and Senate by Senators Booker (D-NJ), Gillibrand (D-NY), Franken (D-MN), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY), and Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK).”