The Department of Health and Human Services in Maine is considering adding opioid and heroin addiction to the list of approved medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. The DHHS has until July 10th to make their decision.
Maine would be the first state to specifically add opiate addiction as a qualifying medical condition, although states with less stringent medical marijuana laws–California and Massachusetts, for example–are already treating opioid addiction with medical cannabis.
Advocates point to a study in the Journal of Pain that found that chronic pain sufferers reduced opioid use when taking medical cannabis. However, the study does not go so far as concluding that marijuana helps wean addicts off of prescription opioids or heroin.
The state approved medical marijuana in 1999 and a separate proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use will be on the November ballot.
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