Opioid Commission To Trump: Declare Emergency, Ignore Science

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director August 2, 2017

    Per The New York Times:

    WASHINGTON — President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis asked him Monday to declare a national emergency to deal with the epidemic.

    The members of the bipartisan panel called the request their “first and most urgent recommendation.”

    Mr. Trump created the commission in March, appointing Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to lead it. The panel held its first public meeting last month and was supposed to issue an interim report shortly afterward but delayed doing so until now. A final report is due in October.

    The initial recommendations are completely silent to the fact that medical marijuana access is associated with reduced rates of opioid use and abuse, opioid-related hospitalizations, opioid-related traffic fatalities, and opioid-related overdose deaths.

    Chris Christie, sitting Governor of New Jersey until Jan. 17, 2018

    Chris Christie, sitting Governor of New Jersey until Jan. 17, 2018

    Over the last two months, over 8,000 voters contacted the Office of National Drug Control Policy commission, chaired by marijuana prohibitionist Chris Christie, with their personal stories and the relevant science to encourage the group to support medical marijuana as part of the approach to reduce the tragic effects of the opioid crisis. This effort was undertaken both by NORML and Marijuana Majority.

    “Governor Christie has zero percent credibility on drug policy, or any other policy, for that matter,” Erik Altieri, Executive Director of NORML said to Forbes of Christie at the time of his appointment to head the commission.

    Nonetheless, this administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has continued to express skepticism with regard to the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. Now, we now know that the President’s opioid commission is not interested in real solutions, but rather more empty rhetoric.

    We have until October until the final report is to be issued.

    Click here to send a message to the ONDCP commission to yet again tell them the facts and if you have one, please share your personal on how marijuana is a safer alternative to opioids. 


    32 responses to “Opioid Commission To Trump: Declare Emergency, Ignore Science”

    1. Julian says:

      Keep educating.

      We need Bernie Sanders to keep the drumbeat in places like West Virginia where poor, white working class Americans are being fed targeted opiates while they are lied to by the cartels within our own DOJ and government pointing the finger at Mexico for our own made-to-fail US drug policy.
      We need NORML chapters to reach out to the Fox and Pretend-Friends caught up in the fear machine and explain to people how bad drug policy is to blame for widespread crime, violence, addiction and socioeconomic inequality, not Mexicans or legalized marijuana. We’ve got to communicate with our secret-ballot neighbors and break the veil of ignorance.

      Then we need to address the role of prohibition on the multi-faceted voter supression and voter caging that is giving ignorant monsters like Trump and Christi so overconfident in their tyrannical victory over our Democratic Republic. That starts at the local level from city councils to shool boards, state legislators up to federal Congress.
      Make no mistake, we are in a climactic battle for our own freedo and what we get to call medicine.

    2. TheOracle says:

      Sorry, Senator Booker for misspelling your first name. Cory, got it.

      And then there’s this that Sessions told Hickenlooper he won’t allow legalization to progress any further.

      Yeah, right. You Got Another Thing Comin’!
      by Judas Priest


    3. Zachary Stotz says:

      Well now, let me begin by saying that I am a republican. Now wait before you drag me over the coals here. I am pro-choice, pro-cannabis legalization, and I am all for most of the social programs in America today. So now you might be wondering how did I end up as a republican with so many democratic values. Well, it’s mostly family ties, my grandmother was on the electoral college for President Reagan. So now to the article at hand. I believe Trump put Sessions where he is and Christie where he is because trump is trying to play on the populist message since he has no REAL message to go on. He has studied the past and is using what works and what works with little actual facts to back it up. Take the drug war. He saw how the republicans kicked ass in the 80’s with the drug war stance and figures he can throw a new drug war into the American public and they will praise him for it because of the Opioid Epidemic. What he does not or has not realized yet, is that America has moved on past that era. We don’t want mandatory minimum sentencing or increased police raids with forfeitures. Right now America is running in the opposite direction because we have finally woke up to the inhumane practices over the last 30 to 40 years. Let Science rule the drug policy world. Also, one last thing before I go. Before the 1930’s, people would self medicate themselves for all ailments. People would take a little of that or a little of this to reduce pain or illness. Now there is bad and good to this. But, I believe we should go to a system where pharmacies, eastern medicine, and self medicating drugs work hand in hand to give patients all the options available to them so this will not only bring down the cost of big pharma drugs but also give people a stake in their own health care.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Zachary Stotz,

        Fine. But if you continue vote Republican now, you are in a state of contradiction. That would put you in opposition to your own values, which is obviously self-defeating, whether it’s a personal family tradition or not. And, that would hurt others, too.

        But that’s “if” — because you didn’t say.

        You did say you “are” a Republican, present tense. The problem is, if you vote that way, all your compassion and rationality, your values, your decency, all that is rendered irrelevant.

        Can’t have it both ways, you know!

      • Evening Bud says:


        I appreciate your enlightenment on certain issues–my God! you advocated for science–but wonder why you’ve remained in a party that seems to go against many of your values. Believing in science alone, one might think, should’ve gotten you disbarred from the GOP.

        You’re right about Trump. He was looking for political advantage in nominating Sessions and Christie, especially with conservatives. His miscalculation shows how clueless he is on the subject of MJ legalization. (Only when the political winds blow so hard that he’ll be unable to ignore it will he change his stance on legalization. He may yet have to.)

    4. Dr. Zig-Zag says:

      I used cannabis oil to wean and detox from a 20-year RX morphine dependency. I know first hand how it works. Total cost for the 21-day effort was $120 for two 3.5 gram vials of full extract cannabis oil (aka Simpson Oil).

      I’ve also studied cannabis at the Medical School postgraduate level (The Medical Cannabis Institute). I’ve got skin in the game and I’ve got an evidence-based knowledge of cannabis.

      What we’re really fighting over, other than the massive wealth of Big Pharma, is the proper scientific respect at the federal level for cannabis and its Schedule I status by our medical schools and medical institutions.

      Allopathic, or Western medicine is considered “evidence-based.” Most US docs are ignorant of the endocannabinoid system because they didn’t learn about it in medical school.

      A system that is the “master control panel for almost every physiological process in the body.” In other words, a BFD.

      Sure Christie’s a handy inflatable toy for Big Pharma but he wouldn’t get the chance to be playing that role if US docs had balls.

      That’s all I’m saying. We get rid of our DATED DOCTOR problem and we’ll get the chance to enjoy cannabis respectfully at the federal level before you know it.

      The Master Control Panel, it’s kind of a BFD.

      • Julian says:

        Agreed that it’s rather frightening how our doctors were never taught about the endocannabinoid system. Both of my grandfathers graduated from Harvard Medical School and neither were allowed to study marijuana or the ECS throughout their entire careers. Ironically, both my grandfathers died of complications that could have been offset by whole plant cannabis consumption; my mother’s father died of Parkinsons in 1996 before the first American publications about the ECS were out and before California legalized mmj. It’s as if their entire professional careers were all about studying Planet “X.” We know it has to exist by studying the rocks and the gravity around it but it would upset a bunch of scientists with some important grants from the Smithsonian if we publish anything so we’ll all just pretend it isn’t there. Except with marijuana, they could lose their license and go to jail. Fu€king ridiculous.
        Our state-taxed marijuana dollars are finally funding US marijuana and ECS studies.
        With that said, we cant just ignore the federal prohibition money or the doctors lobby. Check out the link from Forbes by anonymous up above; the $14 billion Sackler family is sneezing out money from lawsuits on ocycontin unscathed with their predatory fortune.

      • Julian says:

        We are at war with toxic synthetic pharmaceuticals by defending our right to consume, sell and possess whole plant medicine. Supressing the study of marijuana and the ECS is a key component to far too many billionaire$’ Prohibition Use Disorder Syndromes.

        Marijuana reform and funding for ECS studies has to advance at the state level because the Federal government has been thoroughly corrupted by predatory money from Big Pharma and private insurance. If Christie is the “inflatable toy” for Big Pharma the FDA, DEA and NIDA are the factories of America’s billionaire addiction to opiates, tax evasion and prohibition. I agree our federal medical system is a failed state of death for profit, but we are changing that at the state level.

        At the federal level whole plant medicine… particularly those which help reduce opiate addiction… has been under attack by billionaires like the Sacklers since before the DEA was even created. Ibogaine, a whole plant derivative that reduces opiate addiction by acting as an NDMA receptor, has been outlawed since 1967;


        And when whole plant Kratom began weaning Americans off opiates the DEA put it on schedule 1 early this year. The Sacklers are using the CSAct through the DEA to kill Americans with oxycontin for profit.

        We can… and are… voting with our cash by consuming more safe, effective and fairly taxed state-legalized marijuana. But the biggest hurdle NORML is taking on is getting the message out you mentioned first:

        that marijuana can help wean people off of opiates.

        Don’t tap out after nonviolent civil disobedience.
        Let’s help eachother get involved at the state level and join the resistance.

    5. Somedood says:

      A commission of idiots… Why is this even allowed… Only a medical doctor should be put in charge of such a commission. Chris Christie looks like a mobster(probably is) and has no such credentials to make him qualified for this job.

    6. Sean says:

      The “opioid crisis” in my humble opinion is one of the biggest media myths in order to make the war on drugs and the prison industrial complex still relevant. The “solutions” that the Trump administration and drug warrior politicians and officials should make that obvious to any thinking person. If there is crisis? Why cut back on treatment and access like what Trump and Congress want to do? They are grandstanding and Americans are falling for their drug war snake oil solutions. This reminds me of the so called “crack epidemic” of the 80’s. Another media fantasy to ratchet up the drug war and erode our Bill of Rights. As a result, the US becomes the world’s number one jailer and drug warriors turn into highwaymen seizing money and other property because they can. Here is good counterpoint to the current narrative: http://reason.com/archives/2016/05/18/opioid-epidemic-myths Now I’m not suggesting that there are no addicts, nor am I oblivious to the effects addiction has on people and families. But rather than cooking up media narratives, let’s look for some real compassionate solutions, like using cannabis to help treat some addictions, access to treatment facilities, and turning away from the criminal justice system as a crutch. Stop be sheep for heaven sake and question the narrative!

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