The Commission is tasked with studying “ways to combat and treat the scourge of drug abuse, addiction, and the opioid crisis” — the latter of which was responsible for more than 30,000 overdose deaths in 2015.
Given the makeup of the commission — which includes a number of longtime drug warriors such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and former Office of National Drug Policy Control staffer Bertha Madras, who once opposed the use of opioid overdose rescue drugs like naloxone — it is unlikely that these discussions will include any talk of the potential role that cannabis can play in mitigating drug dependence, particularly opioid abuse.
That’s unfortunate because the available evidence shows that legal cannabis access is associated with reduced levels of opioid abuse and mortality, as well as declines in the use of other addictive substances.
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