Susan Daniel

How Could a Medical Cannabis Program Help Tennessee?

One striking chart shows why pharmaceutical companies are fighting legal marijuana. This chart also shows how much medical cannabis helps the people in states with medical cannabis programs in place.

A new study provides clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdose rates.

(Click here for link to the study)

The study found that in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication.

But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a… Continue reading

National NORML Board Member Paul Kuhn is a Fellow Tennessean

Paul Kuhn, a long time national board member as well as a former chair on the national board of directors of NORML, works tirelessly for common sense cannabis law reform here in Tennessee.

His cannabis activism includes regularly writing educational letters on the subject to legislators and news agencies, and the following is an excerpt from a recent letter to an editor for the Tennessean newspaper.

Mr Kuhn explains why medical cannabis should be utilized as a tool to combat Tennessee’s opioid epidemic, and why he thinks editors and legislators are scared to discuss medical cannabis in this context.

He writes:
To combat the opioid overdose crises, a prominent researcher on the subject put it foursquare: “Only one thing works: establishing medical marijuana dispensaries.”

States that permit legal access to cannabis consistently experience reduced rates of opioid usage and abuse, as well as deaths by overdose. For example, the esteemed… Continue reading

A Norml Tennessean​ in Need of Medical Cannabis: Devin Arbuckle’s ​Story

When native Tennessean Devin Arbuckle was 13 years old, he was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident, one which tragically left him with lifelong nerve damage, muscle stiffness and constant, grinding pain.

In 2002 he was at a bonfire with several friends, they were all drinking despite being underage by several years. His best friend’s older brother had thought it would be funny to let the kids get drunk, never expecting it to end tragically. Once everyone finally passed out drunk, Devin was left alone in the front seat of a 2002 GMC Sierra truck with the remainder of a half gallon of Jim Beam whiskey.

He finished the bottle, then took the truck out for a drive. A few miles later, he was speeding down a back road when he hit a mailbox, over corrected the truck, and slammed the truck nose first into the ditch. The vehicle… Continue reading

Tennesseans’ Support for Medical Cannabis Reflect National Polling Numbers

 

A December, 2016 Vanderbilt poll showed that 75% (7.5 out of 10) of Tennessee citizens believed that medical cannabis should be legal, which is apparently right on par with the rest of the nation.

An April, 2017 poll showed that 8 in 10 Americans now think cannabis should be legal for medical use. Nearly half — 49% — approve of smoking it for recreational​ purposes, according to the new poll commissioned by Yahoo! News and performed by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The survey asked a representative sample of 1,122 adults nationwide via phones. It posed a series of questions about people’s feelings and perceptions about cannabis, a plant that has increasingly gained public acceptance.

While the Americans surveyed mostly supported use of medical cannabis, 69% said they didn’t think pregnant women should partake.

70% said they believe cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes.

67%… Continue reading

Tennessee Needs Medical Cannabis to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

One of the most used propaganda-points for the prohibitionist crowd is the comparison of cannabis to opioids. While we know that synthetic heroin and naturally grown cannabis aren’t even in the same ballpark, opponents of marijuana legalization have continually stressed the gateway theory by claiming that increased availability of cannabis will lead to higher rates of opioid abuse.

According to Reuters and a new study from the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, those theories have even less merit than we originally thought, as it turns out that in states with medical marijuana programs, hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller abuse have gone down a whopping 23%. In the same states, hospitals have seen opioid overdoses drop an average of 13%.
The numbers have given hope to medical professionals dedicated to slowing the country’s opioid obsession.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that battling the opioid epidemic will require a multi-pronged approach… Continue reading

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