New York Lawmakers Push to Treat Opioid Addiction with Cannabis

Although cannabis has long been falsely accused of being a “gateway drug” for harder substances like heroin and opioid-based painkillers, the general perception has dramatically shifted in recent years. So much so, in actuality, that renowned doctors have basically said just the contrary –cannabis can really help ween people off of physically addicting opioids. Dr. Oz even went as far as to state it’s more of an “exit drug,” instead of a gateway one.

States have, slowly but surely, begun to adopt this new line of thinking, and it’s resulted in a trickle-down impact amongst lawmakers. A prime example of this has been within the Empire State, as New York Lawmakers push to treat opioid addiction with cannabis.

And it appears they’re winning the battle, slowly but surely.

New York Lawmakers Push to Treat Opioid Addiction with Cannabis

Based on the New York Daily Newsthe New York State Assembly almost unanimously approved a bill that would add opioid addiction to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical marijuana.

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), one of the main proponents of this new step, says he and other supporters of this bill believe that a natural medically-proven solution like cannabis can help relieve many of the side-effects of opioid withdrawal, also contains much less risk than other opioid-based medications such as Vivitrol or Suboxin.

“This is a very serious problem in our society and this therapy works incredibly well,” stated Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who introduced the measure,“ O’Donnell said.  “The therapy specialists should have this in their toolbox. ”

But per the Daily News report, the fate of this bill still hangs in the balance, as it remains in the hands of the state Senate, who also has to approve the bill. While the New York State Assembly’s overwhelming approval does assist the bill’s opportunities, it ideally will require Senate approval before June 20th, the date the legislation ends its session.

One possible solution, according to State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), is the bill merging with similar proposals aimed at increased access to medical marijuana throughout the state. This may include increasing the amount of dispensaries allowed throughout New York, in addition to an extended list of qualifying medical conditions for cannabis.

As it stands, New York’s medical marijuana’s coverage is only accessible to people with very serious ailments.

But when the state Senate’s opinion regarding marijuana is anything similar to that of the New York State Assembly, we might soon see opioid addiction on that record, sooner, instead of later.

Published at Fri, 08 Jun 2018 20:07:28 +0000

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