Medical Cannabis as a Tool to Combat Pain and Opioid Crisis
Using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain is an approach that is supported by research and medical professionals, and has demonstrated positive public health outcomes. Thirty states in the US have passed medical cannabis laws and another sixteen have passed more limited laws. Medical cannabis programs on average are serving 2% of the population despite a potential addressable market of 1/3 of the population that are living with chronic pain.
Americans for Safe Access and our advisors have examined current medical cannabis programs and have identified many barriers for medical professionals, patients, and their caregivers that prevents them from utilizing medical cannabis as a tool to combat pain and opioid use disorder. The following report takes a public health approach to defining enrollment issues and offers a blueprint for legislative and regulatory bodies to resolve these issues. We have concluded that improvements in state medical cannabis legislation and regulations could increase program enrollment and save lives.