Americans are in pain. Over 2.5 million people in the US are addicted to opioids, the US Department of Health and Human Services reports. About 80 die daily from opioid overdoses. It’s gotten so bad that even conservative state legislators want to legalize medical marijuana, arguing it’s a safer, less addictive pain killer.
Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscience, psychiatry, and pharmacology professor at Mount Sinai Hospital’s medical school in New York, writing in Trends in Neuroscience on Feb. 2, agrees. She believes weed legalization can lessen opioid addiction dramatically, and that scientists must join the cultural conversation about cannabis. She writes:
Epidemics require a paradigm shift in thinking about all possible solutions. The rapidly changing sociopolitical marijuana landscape provides a foundation for the therapeutic development of medicinal cannabidiol to address the current opioid abuse crisis. We have to be open to marijuana because there…
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