Pennsylvania Becomes First State to Approve Medical Marijuana to Treat Opioid Addiction

By Maureen Meehan

Pennsylvania added 4 new sicknesses to its Medical Marijuana Program’s record of qualifying circumstances on Monday, May 14, 2018. One is opioid-use dysfunction.

The inclusion of opioid habit on its record of qualifying circumstances, bringing it up to 21, makes the Keystone state the primary within the nation to settle for habit as an sickness that may be handled with medical hashish.

“We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, wrote in an e-mail.

Levine stated that whereas medical hashish gained’t essentially be the primary or solely substitute for different extra established remedies in opioid restoration, marijuana might show to be a viable choice for some.

“We’re making medical marijuana available to patients if all other treatments fail, or if a physician recommends that it can used in conjunction with other traditional therapies,” Levine stated.

Patrick Nightingale, an lawyer and director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), famous that Dr. Levine’s fast motion will save lives.

“Dr. Levine chose not to subject the additional four medical conditions to a 90-day comment period,” he stated.

The modifications took impact Thursday, May 17, 2018.

“No one expected it to happen with such speed, but this is all the better for patients who are suffering,” Nightingale informed “Indeed, the real game-changer here is the decision to add opioid-use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.”

According to 2016 knowledge from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania was fourth amongst 5 US states with the very best charges of dying due to opioid overdose.

Levine additionally identified that including opioid-use dysfunction as an permitted medical situation “enables research to be carried out on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment opioid-use disorder because only approved conditions can be studied through our research program.”

As such, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf introduced that the Department of Health has accepted eight Pennsylvania universities as Certified Academic Clinical Research Centers that may “help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country.”

Pennsylvania’s well being division additionally accepted the sale of hashish in flower type in dispensaries. When the medical marijuana program started earlier this yr, solely costlier hashish oils have been out there.

“Allowing the use of flower is another important issue because of the lower price point,” stated Nightingale. “Although the law prohibits smoking, patients are now free to vaporize cannabis flowers.”



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