Cannabis > Opioids?

Today’s post was shared by WC CompNewsNetwork and comes from

The title of an article published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on November 4 certainly piqued my interest – "Advisory panel backs medical cannabis as tool in opioid war." While not binding or official until the Health Secretary decides how to proceed, the advisory board to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program voted 5-1 to add "opiate use disorder" to the list of qualifying conditions. Let that sink in for a little bit.

The proposal drew support from health professionals, addiction specialists and lawmakers. Medical Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Mitch Simson cast the only vote against adding opioid addiction to the cannabis program, saying he was concerned about substituting one addiction for another.

So there you have it, the argument distilled into two simple sentences. Can cannabis help resolve our opioid epidemic? Or are we just trading one problem for another?

I heard this argument when lobbying for HB 195 earlier this year in Santa Fe that would have removed the case precedent requirement for Work Comp to reimburse injured workers for medical cannabis. On both "sides". Opponents of the bill made the argument that opioids are dangerous (I’ve been preaching that since 2003) and that cannabis could help resolve the epidemic. Proponents of the bill were mostly focused on the financial and legal repercussions but there certainly were concerns about sanctioning marijuana use by reimbursement.

I was quoted in a WorkCompCentral article today

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