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Spicer Incorrectly Links Marijuana to Opioids

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Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary recently spoke about marijuana at a White House Press briefing, while he praised the plant for helping on some dire situations for medical patients – he not only put cannabis in the cross hairs of a possible federal crackdown, but he also wrongly likened marijuana to opioids.

“There’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. I think that when you see the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by in terms of when it comes to recreational marijuana,” said Spicer at last week’s White House briefing.

Recently, a contributor to Forbes wrote about why, exactly, it was incorrect for Spicer to compare marijuana to opioids. The author points to a review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and John Hopkins.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a review of thousands of medical marijuana studies published since 1999, showing that there was substantial evidence supporting the use of marijuana or its extracts for the treatment of chronic pain. “It is widely regarded that the opioid crisis was spurred by big pharmaceutical companies that liberally prescribed the addictive drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin, not marijuana consumers,” reads the article.

Also, there’s the John Hopkins report, which was published in 2014 that found “the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25% lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal.”

The Forbes article closes with a statement by Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project.

“People do not want federal prohibition laws to be enforced in states that have rejected them,” he says.”There appears to be near universal support for allowing the use of medical marijuana, and the majority in favor of broader reform is growing quickly. Our country might be divided on some issues, but more and more it is looking like marijuana policy is not one of them.”

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