Can medical marijuana be part solution in the battle against the deadly opioid crisis in CT?

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Michelle Seagull, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, and the Board of Physicians listened as people like Cody Roberts came forward, urging that opiate use disorder and opiate withdrawal be added to the list of disorders treated by medical marijuana.

Roberts pointed out, “Look at the 25 percent drop rate in opiate use in related deaths in the states that have legalized. You need to capitalize on this amazing opportunity to get Connecticut healthy again.”

They heard from Erin Doolittle, a licensed marriage and family therapist, in the trenches of the opiate crisis.

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“Medical cannabis does a great job supporting withdrawal from opioid dependency,” explained Doolittle. “It improves functioning and shortens the length and intensity of the flu-like symptoms that accompany detox.”

Patients like this woman with PTSD spoke out to save lives.

She stated, “I’ve been a medical marijuana patient for almost two years and with marijuana, I’m managing my pain without opiate drugs or any painkillers.”

An emotional Will Moffet comes from a family struggling with opiate addiction. He explained, “My sister has overdosed ten times in the past year because three years ago she was prescribed Oxycontin by a doctor.”

The flow of testimony led the physicians board to table a vote on recommending medical marijuana for opiate use/withdrawal, along with progressive degenerative disc disease of the spine.

That will likely happen at the next meeting which has not yet been scheduled.

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That’s also another opportunity for supporters to testify.

The Board of Physicians voted not to recommend albinism to the Medical Marijuana Program.

They did vote to add osteogenesis imperfecta for adults and those under 18-years-old to the list of 22 conditions currently treated by medical marijuana.

The regulations process though is long. It could take up to a year to finalize it.

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