NOV 22, 2019 10:53 AM PST

Federal Government Weighs in on Marijuana and Opioid Addiction

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

The U.S. government is weighing in on the hot topic of whether or not medical marijuana is a successful tool in treating opioid addiction by barring the use of federal dollars, allotted for opioid addiction treatment, on medical marijuana.  

The federal agency that gives out money to states for treatment programs believes that there is not enough evidence to suggest that money for opioid addiction should be used on marijuana as a tool or treatment in this area. "We felt that it was time to make it clear that we did not want individuals receiving funds for treatment services to be exposed to marijuana and somehow given the impression that it's a treatment," Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, an employee at this federal agency, told the Washington Post

Photo Source: pexels.com

Federal officials are firm that federal grant money given out by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will not be used to buy marijuana, and that chosen programs will not permit the use of marijuana for treatment in both opioid addiction and mental health disorders. 

This does not apply to federal funding and grants allotted for medical marijuana research. 

Addiction treatment programs are being asked to keep documentation as proof that they are encouraging patients to stop the use of marijuana as a treatment for both addiction and mental health disorders. If they do not comply, the programs are at risk of losing the federal money, McCance-Katz confirms. 

Photo Source: pexels.com

States can decide what disorders they add to their medical marijuana lists, adding ailments like chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, to which there is substantial scientific evidence attached. The U.S. government is arguing that research used to prove marijuana is effective in aiding opioid addiction is based on anecdotal reports and surveys that do not determine cause and effect. 

 

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