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Some see medical cannabis legalization as key to reducing opioid-related deaths

Utah in focus: What’s at stake in the ballot initiative campaign….

“Should Utah pain management doctors be able to recommend marijuana? The answer to this question likely will be up to voters this November, pending successful signature-gathering for a ballot initiative that would legalize medical cannabis.

Liberty resident Katrena Lee believes the controversial plant could make a big difference for her 15-year-old son, Mike Lee. She, Mike and their two service dogs attended a forum in Roy Monday night, and by the end of the 90-minute discussion, she felt a glimmer of hope.

‘This guy, at 11 years old, was begging to die from the pain,’ Katrena Lee said. ‘As a parent, it was heartbreaking.’

Mike Lee is autistic and also battles digestive tract paralysis, dysautonomia, epilepsy and mild cerebral palsy. At 11, doctors put him on Loritab. He now he takes 11 different medications, some to chase Loritab’s side effects, Katrena Lee said.

‘He has three different doctors that have all said that he would benefit (from medical marijuana),’ Katrena Lee said. ‘But we don’t have access … and I’m too afraid of the system to try it (illegally).’

Andy Talbott, a pain management physician who practices in Park City, fielded questions from the audience alongside Weber State Univ. Neuroscience Professor Jim Hutchins, TRUCE Utah Board Chairman Tom Paskett and TRUCE Utah Founder/President Christine Stenquist. TRUCE stands for Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education.

‘It’s tough because I can’t recommend that patients try cannabis because I could lose my DEA license. I have to tell patients they can’t use this illegal drug,’ Talbott said. However, he looks forward to a time when that constraint disappears.

‘We need other tools in our bag besides opioid medications. I’m a big advocate for (TRUCE Utah) and the (ballot initiative) because the downside seems very low for appropriate patients,’ Talbott said. ‘People don’t overdose on this … and it doesn’t suppress respiration. It does impair and sedate people, so it’s not a perfect option — but it needs to be an option’.”

Much more in the linked article. Highly recommeneded!

#MMJ #UTpol #Initiative #UtahNext #ChronicPain #Pain #Opioids #TRUCE

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See full article – Some see medical cannabis legalization as key to reducing opioid-related deaths


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