Countering Anti-Medical Marijuana Efforts In Massachusetts Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Sports - Drugs Type: Essay Paper: #62163824 Related Topics: Marijuana Legalization, Marijuana, Medical And Medicine, Medical
Excerpt from Essay :

Legislative Letter

Jason M. Lewis, Senator

Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health

State House

Tel [HIDDEN]

Dear Senator Lewis,

A public health emergency was declared by Governor Deval Patrick on March 27, 2014, due to the dramatic rise in opiate abuse in Massachusetts (Cassidy, 2014). On the agenda was an addition $20 million for substance abuse prevention and treatment, taking Zohydro off the market, and allowing police officers to carry the anti-overdose drug naloxone. While these measures are a step in the right direction, the number of deaths to opioid overdose surged in December, from 60 in the previous month to 114 (MacQuarrie, 2015). The explanations offered include heroin mixed stronger opiates and stronger restrictions governing prescription painkillers. The sudden, inexplicable closing of the Andrew House Detoxification Center, a 60-bed facility on Long Island, certainly didn't help the situation any (Cullen, 2014).

One solution, which is already a part of the Massachusetts health system, is medical marijuana. A study published last year revealed that states enacting medical marijuana legislation between 1999 and 2010 experienced a 25% average reduction in opioid overdose fatalities (Bachhuber, Saloner, Cunningham, & Barry, 2014). The protection conferred by medical...

...

Unfortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services recently implemented restrictive regulations, including the requirement that patients and providers apply for certification online (Mass.gov, 2014). The first emails sent to applicants shocked the recipients because the subject line and content violated federal and state privacy laws, by revealing the purpose of the letter and private personal information (Lazar, 2015). Senator John F. Keenan reintroduced S.B. 1031 to the Joint Committee on Public Health last month, which severely restricts the number of medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites in the state, imposes a fee of $25,000 on farmers, and prohibits doctors from writing prescriptions for opiate addiction (Editors, 2013). Although the bill is unlikely to pass, it does represent efforts by some legislators and public health administrators to roll back medical marijuana policy progress.

As an advanced practice nursing professional, I cannot take a position on marijuana legalization, but a bill was introduced by Rep. Dave M. Rogers and Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen (2015) a few weeks ago to do just that [The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (CRTA) of 2016, 2015]. Among the many justifications offered for CRTA passage, improved public health…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Bachhuber, M.A., Saloner, B., Cunningham, C.O., & Barry, C.L. (2014). Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(10), 1668-73.

Cassidy, P. (2014, March 28). Governor declares war on opiate epidemic. Cape Cod Times.

Cullen, K. (2014, October 12). Rushed closing of Long Island Bridge takes a human toll. Boston Globe.

Editors. (2013, May 1). Massachusetts marijuana advocates decry 'nasty' bill that would severely limit State's MMJ program. Marijuana Business Daily.
Mass.gov. (2014). Information for patients and caregivers: Program update -- October 8, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/medical-marijuana/patients-and-caregivers.html.


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