States frequently reject use of medical marijuana for opioid treatment

While legislators and health regulators across the country have considered using medical marijuana to address opioid addiction, states have frequently turned down the idea.

From New Hampshire to New Mexico, several states that allow medical marijuana for issues like cancer and glaucoma have considered adding opioid addiction to a list of approved uses. But several states recently rejected the measure.

On May 30, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill to allow businesses like massage therapists to use topical products that contained marijuana and hemp, and it would have added opioid addiction to the list of approved conditions.

The bill’s lead sponsor, state Sen. Tick Segerblom, said he personally thinks doctors can prescribe medical marijuana for opioid addiction due to pain issues, but he added that the bill could have clarified the issue and made a statement. He said the veto was tragic because of the legislation’s “huge potential to address the opioid crisis.”

Sandoval cited concerns with federal law and recreational marijuana, among other issues. He also said in a veto statement that the bill raised questions between medical and recreational marijuana and “limits the discretion of professional licensing boards.”

Last July, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services rejected a request to add opioid addiction to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana, saying there was not sufficient evidence to support adding it.

A recent study showed that hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped 23 percent on average in states after marijuana was adopted for medicinal purposes, and hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average, Reuters reported in March.

This month, New Mexico’s secretary of health rejected a petition to the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to include opiate addiction to the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana.

Psychiatric nurse Anita…

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