in approving and administering medical marijuana to patients dealing with opioid-use disorders. Many policymakers reference Colorado’s alleged success in medical marijuana treatment of patients addicted to prescription or illegal opioids. While data from recent studies suggest short-term success in decreasing opioid-related deaths and overdose hospitalizations, more research on the efficacy of its long-term effects is needed.
A 2017 paper published in the journal Pain Medicine concluded that patients concurrently using prescription opioids and medical cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to misuse their opioid medication.
Steinborn and Ferrary argued that New Mexico’s track record of approving medical-related legislature statewide should be considered. They cited that in 2009, the state was the first to nationally recognize post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualified condition for medical marijuana treatment.
Other states, such as California, are considering if medical marijuana should be used to curb the effects of the opioid crisis.