The legal status of cannabis use, for medical and recreational purposes, varies both internationally and in the United States. At the federal level, cannabis is still classified as an Annex I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it is believed to have a high potential for dependence and no medical use is accepted.
According to the Institute of Medicine, approximately 33% of the American population suffers from chronic pain, depending on dangerous opioids, finally worsening the opioid crisis that already claims more than 100 American lives daily, half of which it involved a prescription opioid.
Medicinal cannabis is a proven and effective alternative to opioids for treating chronic pain: 64% of patients using medical marijuana to control chronic pain report a reduction in their opioid use and opioid deaths decreased to at 25% in states with medical cannabis laws. , as well as a 23% reduction in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse. In addition to eliminating unnecessary and premature deaths, medical cannabis can also reduce health care costs.
Although many states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico passed legislation on medical cannabis, many remain ineligible to participate in programs secondary to a legal dispute between the federal state, inadequacies in state laws, and lack of medical and patient education.
If we can overcome the negative biases of marijuana, we can help educate others about the health benefits it offers:
• Helps relieve nausea and vomiting in some patients with chemotherapy
• Stimulates appetite and weight gain in patients with AIDS, cancer and anorexia nervosa
• Decreases spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS)
• May help with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
• Relieves symptoms associated with spinal cord injury
• May help with epilepsy to relieve seizures
• Could inhibit tumor growth in breast cancers, melanoma
• It can help with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
• May relieve chronic pain
• Reduces headaches and migraine attacks
• It could help with osteoarthritis by preventing the degradation of cartilage
• It can help with the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia
• May help with osteoporosis by stimulating bone formation
• It could prevent degenerative disc disease
• Can improve the symptoms associated with dystonia by up to 50%
• It could weaken the progression of Huntington’s disease
• Helps with movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease.
This call to action is to advocate for and promote federal cannabis reform by supporting the Marijuana Reinvestment and Elimination of Opportunities Act (MORE) which decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level by removing it from the list of controlled substances while it offers certain social reforms to address the damaging repercussions of war. about Drugs have left us.
We end the conflict of laws between the federal and state governments, as well as improve the facilitation of medical cannabis research in the United States at the federal, academic, and private levels. Most importantly, we have a golden opportunity to take a stand and help radiate the opioid epidemic.
Kaitlin Moran is a registered nurse at the University of Connecticut.