Medical Cannabis vs Opiate Pain Relievers
Legal medical cannabis has come a long way since California first legalized it in 1996. Today, 23 states and the District of Columbia allow cannabis to be used medically in some form with additional states on the brink, and medical cannabis enjoys an 80% approval rating in swing states. The list of conditions alleviated by cannabis is growing as more research is done on the plant and its effects, and one of the most prevalent uses is treatmentof pain. For both chronic and acute pain medical cannabis is a safer alternative to current prescription painkillers.
The Center for Disease Control recently reportedthat heroin use has increased nearly 63%, largely because of misuse of prescription drugs. CDC Director Tom Frieden stated, "They are addicted to prescription opiates because they are essentially the same chemical with the same effect on the brain as heroin,” and that, "Heroin costs roughly 5 times less than prescription opiates on the street." While studies are now coming out disproving the long-held misconceptionof marijuana as a gateway drug, it’s becoming clear that prescription medications like codeine, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and others are leading forces in what is becoming an epidemic of heroin abuse in the United States.