Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Allows Cannabis As Opioid Alternative

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Here you know the governor earlier this week signed a Bill to expand the medical marijuana experiment in, Chicago which is a big deal because governor Rauner by and large has not been I don't want, to say he's been a big. Supporter of the program, but he's. Not been big when it comes to expanding it in and he certainly did this. Week and it has to do, with opioid deaths almost two thousand people died of opioid deaths in Illinois in two thousand sixteen seventy two thousand around the country and the governor is going to allow medical. Marijuana to be used in replace of what. In. Percocet vicodin Oxycontin and things like that What do you make of the governor's move Well I think it is an. Interesting approach to thinking about the opioid epidemic the idea presumably is that a significant component of the opioid epidemic reflects people who develop problems with opioid addiction after receiving prescriptions from their physician for. Any number of things that might require opiates and the idea is that if you can use an alternative, to opiates to help manage those patients symptoms perhaps you can minimize some of the addiction and some the. Problem that, we're seeing that a good assumption I mean how big of? A, problem does come from prescriptions. From doctors well that's a really good question I think that we're just really now learning more about How the epidemic has developed and there are some data that show that some people develop. Addiction problems, after receiving, prescriptions but but someday to show that there's really not a lot of. People, in fact there was a recent study that was published looking at people. Who hadn't been hadn't been using opiates and had some kind of procedure and were prescribed opiates and it turned out that less than one percent of the people who had prescriptions developed problems so. It's a little bit unclear if that's gonna make a big difference in the opioid crisis or where all, of this is coming from and I think the thing for me that's so important about all this and. Raising awareness, is the need for us to know more about it we? Need, we really we really need. More research on who's who's developing problems why they're developing Problems and what is their pathway to that issue so even if it isn't going to alleviate a greatly alleviate the opioid crisis when it. Comes to addiction could you make the argument that it's still medical marijuana is still overall a safer and perhaps maybe not more effective but at. Least a. Safer and, effective replacement for these drugs or do we not even, know that yet Well I think, those are two different questions in terms of the safety issues you know. They're they're they're they're really guests from marijuana alone is highly unlikely we've seen it happened probably in. Kids so at their children are, more susceptible to that kind of extreme, problem but so in in that respect perhaps maybe medical marijuana is, safer, the question about efficacy though I think is an unanswered question and that's in my opinion where we need really a. Lot more work there's some good data that shows that medical marijuana helps improve, nausea in patients who are, receiving chemotherapy it helps adults with chronic pain and it helps adults with multiple sclerosis and some of the specificity issues, there's emerging data about its use I but I don't think? We have great data about whether or not Not marijuana's better than an opiate, for say you. Know an orthopedic. Procedure like if you, broke, your bone and had had a, surgery that way so that I think there's a lot of questions about. Efficacy that remain and you know marijuana maybe safer in some ways and opiates but there's there's huge. Problems with marijuana to you can, have marijuana abuse that's a that's a problem there's you know all kinds of issues related to marijuana use, in, pregnancy and its impact on the unborn child or young children so There's just a lot of unanswered questions so those of us who know nothing about it but has strong. Opinions You. Know well this is obviously the doctors were over prescribing this whole. Thing these opioids they're giving about like candy you seem to be making the case that that's not necessarily true I would like to say that, I don't think we entirely know when you look, when you look at when you look at the NIH website when you look at a lot, of reputable websites there is definitely, this contention that a lot of prescription prescribing patterns have led to this issue and I'm, not necessarily refuting that but what I am trying, to bring awareness to is the fact that if we us. If we sort of pivot how we do, things we need to really think carefully about what, we're pivoting to and if we're. Pivoting to the right, thing we don't know a lot about. Medical marijuana yet. And we need. To learn more if we do pivot it's going to be a big. Pivotal seems like right there. Were forty two thousand patients are approved. Now in the medical marijuana program in Illinois last year about two point Three million. Patients received opioid. Painkiller prescriptions so it has the ability to to dramatically expand the medical. Marijuana experiment in this state Yeah potentially potentially a. Could I think. That, that's to, be

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