Medicine/Healing

A new test of pot’s potential to replace painkillers

Before it’s given to patients, the marijuana will be kept inside steel narcotics lockers bolted to the wall in a room with surveillance cameras and a combination keypad on the door. Each locker has tamper-proof hinges and requires two keys—each held by a different person. If someone puts the wrong key in one of the locks, it will become inoperable and have to be drilled out.

The question of whether marijuana can help treat chronic pain is important enough on its own, but Lindley’s study takes on extra significance in the context of the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2010 more than 14,000 people have been dying annually from overdosing on these prescription painkillers. Physicians have commented for more than a century on the potential for cannabis to substitute for opioid drugs, and several recent studies seem to bolster this hypothesis. Researchers examining public-health records have found evidence that painkiller prescriptions, opioid abuse, and overdose deaths has declined in medical marijuana states.

Original Article (The Atlantic):
A New Test of Pot’s Potential to Replace Painkillers
Artwork Fair Use: Public Domain

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