Pubdate: Thu, 03 Sep 2015
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: John W. Conroy
Page: B5


Cannabis an effective alternative for treatment of chronic pain

Re: Doctors blamed for flood of opioids, Aug. 25

So "weak" doctors are bowing to the demands of their patients and are
over-prescribing opioids and "killing more people than cars."

According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and
Therapeutics, cannabis may statistically decrease pain effects; and a
2014 study from JAMA Internal Medicine found there were fewer
painkiller deaths in U.S. states that had legalized medical marijuana.

Cannabis has been successfully used to assist in opiate addiction
withdrawal and cessation for many years. I have met hundreds of
medically approved patients who have told me they are off all the many
opioids they were previously prescribed and now only use cannabis.
They have regained their lives, and their families have regained them.

You would think cannabis would be available to doctors as an option
and/or alternative to assist in the reduction of patients' chronic
pain symptoms, as well as withdrawal and cessation of opiate use, with
less or no risk of overdose deaths because cannabis has no lethal
dose, unlike opiates.

However, the College of Physicians and Surgeons decrees that cannabis
use is not generally appropriate for patients who have an active
substance abuse disorder and dissuades all doctors from having
anything to do with medical marijuana absent exceptional and then
well-documented circumstances.

Doctors can charge fees for prescribing opiates that "are killing more
people than cars," but not for marijuana that cannot kill and might
make that patient's death less likely.

John W. Conroy

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt