While this past week has offered little to our community but fear, anxiety, and the dingy reality of what a Trump administration could mean for states seeking to reform their marijuana laws, there remained one bright spot in the news.
Marijuana found innocent of being a “gateway drug”
After a grim string of days punctuated by President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to nominate Alabama Sen. Jeff sessions as our next Atty. Gen., a fresh review of marijuana-related studies indicates that pot may in fact be the cure for many of America’s addictions … rather than a cause.
Publishing the “most comprehensive” report ever compiled on the cause of addiction, research conducted by The University of British Columbia indicates that people suffering from drug dependency issues could benefit from marijuana use.
Particularly helpful for those suffering from alcohol and opioid addictions, the new study found marijuana use offers a realistic exit strategy for breaking the bonds of addiction, according to Zach Walsh at UBC.
“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication.”
Drilling down on the available marijuana-related studies, researchers at UBC found:
“In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points.”
Identifying cannabis as an ‘exit strategy’ rather than a ‘gateway drug’ for eliminating many of this country’s addiction issues, Science Direct provided a systematic review of 60 articles on cannabis for therapeutic purposes:
“Results reflect the prominence of mental health conditions among the reasons for CTP [Cannabis for Therapeutic Purpose], and the relative dearth of high-quality evidence related to CTP in this context, thereby highlighting the need for further research into the harms and benefits of medical cannabis relative to other therapeutic options. Preliminary evidence suggests that CTP may have potential for the treatment of PTSD, and as a substitute for problematic use of other substances.”
As Americans battle with their newest wave of addiction, the idea of Sen. Jeff Sessions serving as U.S. Attorney Gen. while still in the grip of some feeble-minded senile funk is far from popular, and for good reason. During 2014, 21.5 million Americans over the age of 12 had some form of substance abuse issues. Of those, 1.9 million were addicted to prescription pain relievers, and 586,000 suffered from heroin addiction. Conversely, marijuana is a therapeutic plant that is not physically addictive. And, most importantly, a substance which has never been directly linked to a single fatal overdose.