This Hospice Is Hoping To Prove That Cannabis Can Make Dying Less Painful

The nation's first federally approved study to see if medical marijuana can ease pain for those with terminal illnesses is under way. Advocates hope it will make patients less reliant on opioids.

Ernestine Coon reclined in her hospital bed at The Connecticut Hospice with a colorful blanket covering her legs, watching seagulls soar over the water from her second-floor room. Longtime friends chatted with Coon as the slender, silver-haired grandmother prepared to do something she’d never done in her 70 years: Try marijuana.

One year ago, Coon visited the doctor and left with a diagnosis of ovarian and uterine cancer. Now, with doctors giving her about six months to live, she has constant pain in her abdomen and back, and has signed on as patient number five in the nation’s first federally approved trial to see if medical cannabis can sufficiently reduce pain in dying patients so that they can reduce...

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