Pubdate: Wed, 26 Aug 2015
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 2015 Star Tribune
Author: Chris Kurle


Minnesota certainly does need a new strategy to fight opioid 
addiction ("Closing the gateway that leads to heroin," editorial, 
Aug. 25). Unfortunately, Gov. Mark Dayton bowed to the pressure of 
law enforcement lobbyists and supported a limited medicinal cannabis 
law that excluded intractable pain. Studies have found that states 
with medical marijuana laws have fewer deaths from opioid overdoses 
than those without. Other studies have shown that cannabis has the 
potential to manage pain symptoms and at least reduce the dosage of 
opioids needed to manage severe pain. The risks of opioids include 
addiction and death from overdose. Cannabis is a much safer 
alternative. It has a much lower risk for dependence, and there has 
yet to be a documented death from overdose.

Minnesota's medical cannabis law was designed with a research 
component, and the state is currently offering sessions for public 
input on adding intractable pain to the qualifying conditions list. 
Public testimony will be taken at a meeting of an advisory panel to 
be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 3 in the Minnetonka City Council 
chambers, and comments are being accepted online (tinyurl. 
com/psrkk8h). If the state truly intends to research this alternative 
to opioids, this presents the perfect opportunity to update the law 
by Jan. 1 as the current statute dictates.

Chris Kurle

Brooklyn Park
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom