The comment by Dr. McCullough is more significant than the WSJ article! Dr. Paul McCullough, MD is an orthopedic surgery doctor who practices in Bremerton, WA, 83 years old and has been practicing for 58 years.
WSJ Opinion – click Shooting Up Arguments in the Opioid Crisis
I needed pain relief that I knew I could get from OxyContin, but two doctors I was seeing wouldn’t give me any.
May 21, 2017
Comment by Paul S. McCullough, M.D.
Bremerton, WA 98310
In calling for more nonaddictive painkillers to solve the opioid crisis, Messrs. Bloom and Berezow are remiss to overlook medical marijuana.
There exists compelling scientific evidence that chronic-pain patients find marijuana to be a safer, more effective alternative to opioids and other more dangerous prescription drugs. Recent National Institute on Drug Abuse studies have found that states with legal access to medical marijuana have significant reductions in opioid overdose deaths, lower levels of opioid prescribing and lower nonmedical opioid abuse. Other studies have estimated that medical cannabis could save over $1 billion in Medicaid and $165 million in Medicare costs. Marijuana appears to be particularly useful for chronic neuropathic pain like that caused by back injuries, a type of pain for which opioids are notably ineffectual but widely overprescribed.
Given the current opioid crisis, the fact that marijuana remains on the Schedule I list of federally banned substances is a prime example of an obsolescent, dysfunctional government regulation that this administration would do well to repeal.