Bill would allow use of marijuana for opioid addiction treatment

New push to add opioid addiction to the state's list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

BURNHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — There is a new effort to get addiction to opiates and other pharmaceutical medications added to the list of approved conditions that are treatable with medical marijuana.

PJ Plummer says medical marijuana was critical in helping him wean off methadone. He says he first got addicted when his doctor gave him opioids for his back pain 20 years ago.

Last year DHHS officials rejected a request to add addiction to opiates to a list of approved conditions for medical pot.

Some health professionals say there is only anecdotal evidence of marijuana's benefits and there is no science that supports using marijuana for opiate withdrawal.

Allowing patients to use medical pot for their addiction is the focus of a bill being sponsored by State Senator Eric Brakey, he says with the ongoing overdose crisis claiming lives nearly every day the time to act is now.

"I think as we are also dealing with the opioid crisis here in the state. I think there is a lot of interest in new and innovate ways we can tackle that," said Senator Eric Brakey, (R) Auburn.

The bill will be taken up by the legislature early next year.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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