Medical Pot Is Our Best Hope to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

“There are direct reasons why [cannabis]could actually help people get off of opioids,” says one leading marijuana researcher.

Last year, a pharmaceutical company called Insys Therapeutics gave half a million dollars to the campaign to stop marijuana legalization in Arizona. The Phoenix-based company’s flagship product is a prescription opioid spray made from fentanyl, an incredibly addictive and deadly drug estimated to be 50 times stronger than heroin. Cannabis, Insys knew, could disrupt the $24 billion market for painkillers and cost them business. After all, cannabis is now being used to treat many of the problems for which opioids are prescribed: back pain, arthritis, basically any kind of chronic discomfort. And there are some pretty convincing reasons why someone in pain might choose cannabis over opioids: Opioids are physically addictive, and can kill you. Cannabis has never killed anyone, and the withdrawal is mostly psychological.

– Read the entire article at RollingStone.