Medical Marijuana as a Tool to Reduce Opiate Addiction

Vermont has approved medical cannabis for chronic pain in an effort to reduce opiate abuse. Will other states follow suit?

The country is currently mired in what some are calling an “opioid painkiller crisis,” and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin took concrete action earlier this month to address the crisis.

The Democratic governor added chronic pain to the state’s list of health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

“At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management,” Gov. Shumlin said in a statement. “This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive.”

Preliminary research and substantial anecdotal evidence show medical cannabis to be an effective, safe pain reliever....

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