(USA Today, March 20) As opioid misuse continues to grip the nation, some states are allowing medical marijuana to be used as a treatment for opioid addiction.
However, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), says there is currently no scientific evidence for marijuana to be used in such a way.
"If you don’t treat it properly, your risk of dying is quite high," Volkow told USA TODAY. "My main concern is by basically misinforming potential patients about the supposedly beneficial effects of cannabis, they may forgo a treatment that is lifesaving."
NIDA is planning to conduct studies of cannabis ingredients to determine their effectiveness in treating opioid addiction.
"I’m not saying it’s not possible," Volkow said. "Like anything else, we do science in order to determine and provide the evidence of whether it’s effective or not."
Last week a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal revealed that potent forms of the drug increased the risk of psychotic disorders five-fold. A shocking 30 per cent of new cases of psychosis in London are linked to skunk cannabis, the King’s College London researchers found.
The UN-backed International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) warned on Tuesday that poorly regulated medical cannabis programmes could step-up the “recreational” use of the drug while diminishing public concern over its harmful effects.
“Legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, as seen in a small number of countries, represents not only a challenge to the universal implementation of the treaties and the signatories to the treaties, but also a significant challenge to health and wellbeing, particularly among young people”, INCB President Viroj Sumyai said, following the publication of the body’s latest Annual Report.
When it comes to foreigners visiting the US, while the general reaction is overall favorable, it appears that one city tends to draw a reaction of sheer shock if not disgust: San Francisco….San Francisco has always been one of favourite US cities, but the degree of homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse we saw on this trip was truly shocking. Walking round SF on a Sunday Morning and we saw sights we couldn’t believe. This must be one of the richest cities in the world – home to 4 of the 10 richest people on the planet according to Wiki. I asked friends about it, and they shrugged it off.. “The City has always attracted the homeless because of the mild weather,”.. “It’s a drug thing”.. “its too difficult”… “you get used to it..” Well, I didn’t."
In his latest note to client, "Stoned on free money", SocGen's Albert Edwards picks up where Blain left off, and writes that he too "was really quite shocked by my visit last year to San Francisco by the sheer quantities of men (yes it is virtually 100% men) who were clearly off their heads on drugs (and drink) and putting both themselves and other road users at risk." Edwards continues his lurid recollection of his trip to this liberal utopia overrun by homeless people and junkies:
"I was shocked to see the latest data showing US pedestrian fatalities have soared some 25% since 2012! Very few stats surprise me, but this is one of them
It appears the US is gripped by an epidemic of stoned pedestrians stepping into traffic. The same might be said for investors befuddled by QE, for the risk is they are about to step off the sidewalk in front of a rapidly deteriorating economic cycle.
The surprised Edwards then goes on to add that he also found the report "quite shocking" most especially "because of the very clear evidence that the surge in fatalities is primarily due to the legalisation of marijuana in some states."
JAMA. 2019;321(7):639-640. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0077
The evidence that cannabis is an efficacious treatment for opioid use disorder is even weaker. To date, no prospective evidence, either from clinical trials or observational studies, has demonstrated any benefit of treating patients who have opioid addiction with cannabis.
If Cannabis Is Recommended Medicine, It Should Be Held to Medical Standards
For chronic pain, there are numerous alternatives to opioids aside from cannabis. Nonopioid medications appear to have similar efficacy,3 and behavioral, voluntary, slow-tapering interventions can improve function and well-being while reducing pain.,,,Without convincing evidence of efficacy of cannabis for this indication, it would be irresponsible for medicine to exacerbate this problem by encouraging patients with opioid addiction to stop taking these medications and to rely instead on unproven cannabis treatment.
Taking Action - Stopping Ice
United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime: Drug Prevention & Treatment
Medicinal Cannabis –
Access to medicinal Cannabis Products (TGA)
Access to medicinal cannabis products: steps to using access ...
Presentations, Statements & Conference Resources from WFAD 2018 Forum