Many people are becoming increasingly addicted to prescription painkillers. As a result, lawmakers have been working harder to stop it. However, the focus which typically arises from a flawed federal policy has led to a slippery slope which could become the push needed to pull marijuana out of prohibition.
One of the first actions to be thrown upon federal health officials from above came from Senator Elizabeth Warren. The federal lawmaker sent a letter in February to the leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking that the agency starts experimenting on cannabis to decipher whether or not it could be used to fight the prescription addictions spreading throughout the United States.
The letter was made out to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden. It asks that the agency makes the regulations physicians have more strict regulations to stop them from giving painkillers to patients so easily. Warren stated that she strongly believes that the agency should finish the CDC guidelines for prescribing painkillers to patients suffering from chronic pain and focus on finding new treatments, including medical cannabis that could be prescribed to stop the country from joining the opiate craze.
“I hope that the CDC continues to explore every opportunity and tool available to work with states and other federal agencies on ways to tackle the opioid epidemic and collect information about alternative pain relief options,” Warren said. “Your agency has produced an enormous amount of scientific and epidemiological data that has helped inform stakeholders on the breadth of this crisis — however, there is still much we do not know.”
In the letter, Warren tells the CDC to co-work with other federal health agencies in order to learn the “effectiveness of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment in states where it is legal,” and “the impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths.”
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