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Washington D.C. — A meeting scheduled by the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis for this afternoon has been postponed until July 31, 2017. This is the second time the Commission has moved a meeting or call about the opioid crisis. The Commission was also scheduled to issue an interim report on June 27, but this deadline came and went without any announcement from the Commission.
The President’s Commission, chaired by Governor Chris Christie, is tasked with finding solutions to and tactics to improve addiction treatment and reduce the number of preventable deaths that are related to the opioid crisis. However, despite being tasked with creating a response to one of the largest public health crises to ever face our nation, the Commission has only met once since its formation last March.
“It is deeply troubling that the President’s Commission has only had one meeting and continues to delay,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. "The Commission’s inaction is blocking safer alternatives to opioids for people with chronic pain, such as medical cannabis. If politicians like Governor Christie want to take the opioid crisis seriously, they should get off the beach, get to work and develop solutions."
Research published in the Journal of American Medical Associations has shown that in states with medical cannabis programs, there has been a 25% reduction in opioid deaths. A survey of almost 3,000 pain patients revealed that 93% of patients preferred medical cannabis over prescription opioids.
The President’s Commission will meet for the second time on Monday, July 31, 2017 to review a draft report. The public may call to listen in by dialing 1(800)-260-0718 (Access Code 426289).