Beginning on Friday, physicians in Colorado will be in a position to legally advise healthcare cannabis for sufferers who may well otherwise get prescribed opioids.
That is thanks to a new law signed in Might by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis that tends to make Colorado the third state in the nation (New York and Illinois are the other two) to permit physicians to do that.
The law opens the door for sufferers to seek healthcare marijuana for all circumstances in which they may well be dealt an opioid prescription, representing a important expansion for the remedy in the state. Previously beneath Colorado’s healthcare marijuana law, sufferers could obtain a cannabis prescription for the following qualifying debilitating healthcare circumstances: cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, cachexia, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, extreme nausea, and extreme discomfort.
The new law is each a victory for cannabis advocates, and a remedy for a nationwide opioid crisis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, extra than 130 folks die in America each and every day from overdosing on opioids. These gut-wrenching statistics have driven activists, lawmakers and physicians to contact for an expansion in healthcare cannabis.
Democratic state Rep. Eddie Hooton, who co-sponsored the bill that was signed into law by Polis, told NBC News that the legislation “was created to give physicians a legal, open choice to go over [medical marijuana use] with sufferers.”
“It normalizes the conversation about the situation,” Hooton mentioned.
Hooton mentioned the bill, which passed the Colorado legislature with bipartisan help, wasn’t “about treating opioid addiction,” but advocates have touted the expansion of healthcare marijuana remedy as a viable option to painkillers that have established lethal.
“Adding a situation for which a doctor could advise healthcare marijuana rather of an opioid is a safer discomfort management tool that will be helpful for each our physicians and sufferers,” Ashley Weber, executive director of Colorado NORML, told the Denver Post in Might.
Not everybody is as enthusiastic about the new law, beneath which each adults and minors are eligible. Stephanie Stewart, a doctor in Aurora, Colorado, told the Post that the law “will substitute marijuana for an FDA-authorized medication — one thing that is unregulated for one thing that is hugely regulated.”
“Our true concern is that a patient would go to a doctor with a situation that has a healthcare remedy with proof behind it, and then rather of that remedy, they would be advisable marijuana rather,” Stewart mentioned.
But as addiction to prescription painkillers continues to spread and claim extra lives, healthcare cannabis could increasingly be noticed as a safer option, even in components of society that have historically been hostile to marijuana use. In Might, for instance, the National Football League announced a study into cannabis as a type of discomfort management, a response to the expanding quantity of existing and former players who have turn out to be addicted to painkillers.