Trump’s Commission Denies Evidence That Cannabis Can Mitigate Opioid Abuse

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 1, 2017

    GovChristieDespite the growing body of scientific evidence showing that cannabis access is associated with reductions in opioid use and mortality, the Chairman of the White House’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis today called upon the President to reject any efforts to acknowledge marijuana’s promising role in mitigating opioid abuse and dependency.

    In a letter sent today to President Donald Trump by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Chairman of the Committee, he writes:

    “The Commission acknowledges that there is an active movement to promote the use of
    marijuana as an alternative medication for chronic pain and as a treatment for opioid addiction. … There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current
    epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction. The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic.”

    President Trump established the Commission in May via an executive order. Members of the Commission issued their policy recommendations today.

    In recent months, dozens of peer-reviewed studies have concluded that legal cannabis access is associated with reduced rates of opioid use, spending, abuse, hospitalization, and mortality. Summaries and links to these studies are available here.

    Despite over 10,000 advocates communicating this information to the Commission, members of the committee have chosen to disregard it. Moreover, Gov. Christie opines in today’s letter that cannabis exposure increases the likelihood that one will become opioid dependent — an allegation that was recently rejected by the National Academy of Sciences, which, in a January 2017 review of some 10,000 peer-reviewed studies, failed to identify even one “good or fair-quality systematic review that reported on the association between cannabis use and the initiation of use of opioids.”

    NORML thanks the thousands of you who took the time to try to inform and educate this Commission and regrets that its members continue to place political ideology above the health and safety of American lives.

    74 responses to “Trump’s Commission Denies Evidence That Cannabis Can Mitigate Opioid Abuse”

    1. Julian says:

      …Marijuana “contribute” to overdose?! While even the DEA admits that marijuana has not caused a single overdose or any marijuana-cause-related death in all recorded human history?


      This Apellate court decision in favor of rescheduling mj in NJ un Kadonsky v. Lee couldnt be better timed.

      Here comes the marijuana legalization commercial:
      If you are a medical cannabis patient that has suffered negative side effects from any variety of legally prescripted pharmaceutical drugs, contact Keith Stroup, NORML legal councel (contacts on this page) and ask how you can be joined to any variety of federal cases against Attorney General Sessions or Governor Christi to deschedule marijuana. It doesn’t take long to link one of these two parasites to Big Pharma blood money in some settlement after they accepted donations from the manufacturer of the very same deadly synthetic drug that you may now be substituting with whole plant cannabis. Thats evidence in a federal court.

      It’s easy. Just go to http://www.opensecrets.org, punch Jeff Sessions or Chris Christi in the search tab off the menu button. Click on “doners” and start googling the names of any of the doners names that remotely look like a pharmaceutical company next to the word “settlement.” Presto! Theres the name of the drug that tried to kill you or someone you love for the campaign profit of Christi and/or Sessions. It might not indict them but it damn sure can recuse them from a marijuana descheduling case! You can do it on your lunch hour!

      • Whatever dude says:

        Look you pot heads were morons to think that they would ever let the free markets in America sale a drug that solves so many problems medically, along side it’s huge profit margins. When you include the city and state on any emerging market you gamble to loose it all to the bigger money in America. (Smoking to much of your own product), history tells you what is too come. Soon they will begin to manifest conclusions based on concerns for public safety that will then lead to the reduction and removal of marijuana from the standard business climate and place it special interests groups to manage and manipulate for profit. Big pharma ihas been making plans with this administration to capture marijuana in its entirety to pursue at its convenience around the already handcrafted pills of fortune treating the same illnesses as marijuana. There will not be any federal legalization!!! It will be a form of prescription drug with schedule punishment associated with it. Say goodbye to the mom and pop dispensary’s ( Oh that’s already happened in Colorado with weed Barron’s ), and now the state has chosen to call the patient that the whole industry was created on THE BLACK MARKET ! Local government protection for there revenue. So if ever thought this was about medicine you were a fool. Soon all dispensary’s will be considered the black market oops that is happening now… how well they sell multiple ounces to out of town customers at the recreational side with a turnstile format . As for the medical side if your plant count says you can possess 10 oz. then they are allowing you to buy that max amount per day which could potentially allow any one patient to purchase 4.4 pounds a week add a couple of friends there and well its about 15 pounds a week to go to the out of state buyers this is only a small group amounting this imagine a large group doing this;but everyone of these dispensary’s are doing this and accommodating the black market right out the front door.

        • Evening Bud says:

          Whatever dude,

          Never say never. I remember when posters on this very forum said, several years ago, that legalization would never be allowed to happen in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon . . .

          The moneyed interests behind prohibition have been exposed and will again be defeated. Sessions has taken on an industry that is already burgeoning. He’s too ideologically stupid and rigid to understand that he’s swimming against a hard current.

        • Julian says:

          Whatever, Whatever.

          “…not about medicine?”

          You surrender the battle before you join the war.

          Whole plant marijuana is medicine. Synthetic molecules are poison. The difference is whole plant synergy or side effects from patented synthetics ; the difference is one can overdose on synthetics but not on whole plant marijuana; the difference is our participation in contacting our Congressman or vainly retreating into defeat; the difference is in choosing to purchase a sustainable garden of whole plant medicine or choosing to sell ourselves to a synthetic poison farm of patented prohibition.
          I always have a choice. Do you?

    2. Itwillbeoversoonerthanwethink says:

      So he thinks he’s a doctor now, an expert in narcotics?

      He’s an expert at eating only!

    3. Leonard says:

      You want proof? I am right here with the proof.

      • Thomas says:

        I as well am proof

        • Two Bears says:

          I am proof too.

          I have had Crohns 12 1/2 years 8 years spent $thousands on medications. my quality of life went straight to hell. forced into adult diapers, uncontrolled diarrhea, pain you don’t want to imagine, inflammation setting in joints like Gout. And still having two flares a week.

          4 years ago I started using medical marijuana.

          Today I am out of adult diapers, the inflammation is gone, the horrible pain is gone, and the fatigue is gone. I have only had two mild flares in the last year!


    4. Leonard says:

      Chris Christie is a total Idiot that knows nothing

    5. B says:

      RE-write as I hit limit, so please forgive shortcuts-


      GF son, ~40 days clean (was Oxy and Xanax and…)

      we tried to help, but force is no good, and lies sidestep tender.

      his older brother returned from long trip
      just about the time we caught on that pills were being used.

      his brother (whom he looks up to) helped by examining phone
      and telling each dealer/contact that police were involved
      and that they would be farked if they ever contacted him again.
      also chaperoned much of his life for a solid week+

      cold turkey, had shakes, and mood swings, even memory/focus issues ?

      we provided support, and I got him some greens.

      his brother championed, and I never expected him to rise, at all really…
      and he himself fought to stand tall

      and we encouraged, fought, argued, cried, battled, and more.

      and after some battles, we would break out a binger or a jay-
      and relax. and over time, he got clearer.

      his father is in prison, again, for heroin

      and we were terrified we would lose him to who knows what fate-
      but he was not himself, he had waived his free will for pills.

      we fought and cried, and I cried twice writing this,
      and I am growling alpha male. ra…

      this hurt

      but we did it

      and likely wouldn’t have been successful-
      unless Divine Intervention…

      anyway ~40 days clean
      and he is aggressive against those that offer pills

      he knows he cannot take a single step back or he is lost.


      his mind is back
      he looks clean and sharp
      and he is free

      cannabis was crucial

      – fark these liars.

    6. B says:

      no sarc, no bs.

      cannabis is a GODSEND.

      (I mean that, literally.

      note cannabinoid receptors.)

      I offer my encouragement to those facing the same. we are only just now relaxing that it is ‘done’, – but he can never slip …


      we need these people
      leadership, clowns, fools, …
      to care more for Americans
      than their lobbyist payments and their bullshit.

      Cannabis, along with tough love, and… monitoring to assist-

      I cannot stress enough.

      my eyes burn as I gaze through tears.

      I mean what I say.

      good day.


      • saferinneworleans says:

        Keep putting the green on that addict, Ben. He needs the good stuff and frequently. You are a champ to help. You are doing the right thing! Replace the fog with happy clouds! I beat a bad drinking problem 18 years ago, with happy clouds! I never had anybody’s permission, either. What I did have was a couple of people like you, who put a little green on me now and then, and I got by, buddy, I made it. Thank the Lord. Your GF’s son will, too, if he applies himself and fires up frequently. I hope he does.

    7. Marc R Guilbault says:

      This man is either incredibly stupid, misinformed, in the pockets of big Pharma, or all of the three.

      • Richard says:

        Fat boy is a political hack, never did a honest days work in his life, never saw callouses on his hands except from eating. I think he got promised a role during the campaign to bring him on board with the support he could muster. He needs to lay off those hamburgers tho.

    8. dave says:

      It’s not political ideology, It’s blatant corruption in collusion with big pharma, the very same players that created the HIGHLY profitable opioid epidemic.

    9. Mark Mitcham says:

      So there you have it: when it comes to Republicans, all war is good war; and, especially so, the War on Drugs.

      As commentor Clem Clark figured out on a previous blog, the strategy for fighting legalization will be to “equate” the supposed dangers of cannabis and opioids. That way, the Trump administration can collar the “legal” cannabis market for the benefit of big pharma and their lackeys, while simultaneously ramping up marijuana prohibition and forfeitures and prison sentences, on behalf of Jefferson Peckerwood Sessions.

      Marijuana is the cornerstone of the War on Drugs. They’re not giving that up easily. If not full-on prohibition, then quasi-prohibition based on social class, money, and race.

      I anticipate a move to Schedule II for cannabis, in order to achieve this.

      The Republicans are war profiteers on a genetic level. They’re not interested in solutions — just the Drug War Gravy Train, and Corporate Profits. All hail the mighty god, PROFIT!

    10. Mark says:

      Governor Chris Christie is ignorant and a paid off goony for trump & sessions go buy a bag of weed and smoke some ya ignorant idiot