Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 2015
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2015 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Andy Gaus


The Herald editorial wonders how it's even possible that legislators 
can support "efforts to combat the state's rising opiate addiction 
crisis - while simultaneously pushing to legalize the drug that got 
so many addicts in trouble in the first place" ("Snuff out pot law," March 24).

Actually, marijuana is the very medicine that might have staved off 
opiate addiction in many cases. A good number of addicts were 
introduced to opiates not by a marijuana dealer, but via prescription medicine.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published 
the findings of a study concluding that states where medical 
marijuana laws have been implemented saw a drop of 33 percent in 
deaths from opiate drugs.

In addition, a growing body of research suggests marijuana may 
enhance the pain-killing effects of opiates. This means some patients 
could use cannabis to reduce their dosage of opiates, lessening the 
risks. So if marijuana is a "gateway" drug, it's a gateway to 
improved public health.

- - Andy Gaus, Boston
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