The opioid and heroin crisis is taking lives at an alarming rate. In Monroe County alone, there were 262 reported overdoses from the beginning of January to the end of March 42 of which were fatal.1 One of the most significant causes of this epidemic is the overprescribing of painkillers. Its time we recognize this and learn from these tragic consequences we need better options.
Medical marijuana has proven to be a far safer option for relieving chronic pain without the risks that come along with opioids. It can also be an effective treatment option to help those struggling with substance use disorder. Thats why Im supporting legislation to add opioid use disorder to the list of conditions for which a doctor may authorize the use of medical marijuana so people dont have to rely on dangerous and addictive opioids and can get on the road to recovery (A. 9016).
States with legalized medical marijuana saw a decrease in opioid-related hospitalizations, accidents and fatal overdoses.2 Too many lives have been lost already. Addiction doesnt discriminate, but we can keep more New Yorkers out of its grip with this vital legislation.