One woman says medical marijuana gave her a second chance at life, but many others aren’t as fortunate.
Some believe it could help with opioid addiction and they’re pushing for a change at the Illinois Capitol.
“I couldn’t get up off the floor, so that’s why I thought, ‘This is it. This is the day I’m going to die,’ and I crawled upstairs so when the hospital said it’s a withdrawal, I was shocked.”
Two years ago, Angela Goering had no idea she’d become addicted to opioid pain medication. She had been taking them nearly a decade.
“I’ve never done street drugs, so I was naive.”
The grandmother and mother of four is living with a rare terminal disease giving her just five years to life.
“They told me they were giving me those drugs to keep me comfortable, so I didn’t think there was anything more I can do but lay on the couch.”
After realizing her addiction, she told her doctor she wanted to try medical marijuana. It’s a decision, she says, gave her a reason to live again.
“I’m able to participate again and I’m participating with energy.”
That’s what brought her to the Capitol. She and others are asking for broader use of medical marijuana. Those who testified say it was important to have their voices heard so others could be saved.
“I believe this is a tool that physicians can use to cope with chronic problems.”
Right now, there are only 41 conditions eligible for a prescription. Advocates want the state to expand the list; a move they say will combat the growing opioid addiction epidemic.
“Physicians are cautious by nature and, unless they’ve got the clearance or approval of the state through the regulation process, they will stay away from those forms of treatment.”
“We’re all worried about opening the doors too broadly for conditions that really don’t necessitate that kind of treatment.”
Advocates say they’re prepared for pushback, but hope this discussion can be the beginning of change. Illinois is one of 25 states which authorize medical marijuana, but advocates say state regulations are too strict.
The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois addressed the industry’s successes, especially job growth. In just the last year, it’s created about 2,000 jobs and generated more than $14.7 million for the economy.
Original: 8:00 am, 5/10/17, Wednesday
ILLINOIS — Using medical marijuana to fight pain has helped millions of people across the country. In Illinois, nearly 20,000 people have been approved for prescriptions and the drug is accessible to people with dozens of conditions.
Now industry leaders want to take things a step further and they’re headed to the Capitol to get the conversation started.
The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois says they want to use medical marijuana to fight the opioid crisis which is destroying families and costing the state millions.
Tuesday, they testified at a Senate hearing to explain why they want to make marijuana available to opioid addicts.
Since opioids are often prescribed to treat chronic pain, they believe marijuana can be a better option for those suffering from both pain and addiction.
The organization will present research backing up their claims. According to an American Medical Association study, states with medical cannabis laws have, on average, 25% fewer opioid overdoses.
Right now, there aren’t any bills in the works but, they say, they want to start the discussion. At the hearing, physicians and recovered addicts spoke.
While some disagree with the solution, medical marijuana industry leaders believe with opioid deaths continuing to rise, this could be a cure.
Source: 420Intel – Medical Cannabis