Medical cannabis can be a lifeline for those suffering from severe pain

Our nation’s addiction to opioids has been building for 10 years and Illinois’ failed medical cannabis policies compound this problem, putting our patients at a dangerous and potentially deadly disadvantage. The Tribune reported on President Donald Trump’s declaration labeling the opioid epidemic a national emergency. As a seasoned orthopedic surgeon, I can attest to the devastating effects opioid dependency has on my patients, their families and friends, and our society as a whole. It is a critical public safety issue that must be addressed immediately.

A 2014 study published in JAMA analyzed the association between states with medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality rates. The study concluded that states with medical cannabis laws had a nearly 25 percent lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate in comparison to states without such laws.

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