Letter to CDC: Steps that Federal Agencies, States Should Be Taking

In a letter sent last week to CDC head Dr. Thomas Friedan, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) urged action on a variety of fronts in response to the escalating epidemic of opioid abuse in the US. These included the completion of work on the CDC’s draft guidelines for opioid prescribing, that Warren described as “…provid(ing) much-needed direction for primary care physicians treating chronic pain while making clear that there are certain circumstances for which opioid prescriptions are appropriate.” Warren additionally called on Freidan and the CDC to collaborate with states and other federal agencies on the exploration of “alternative pain relief options” including medical marijuana.

A story in Washington Post on Sen. Warren’s initiative highlighted her call to the CDC to evaluate “the impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths.” The article also contains links to a panoply of recent research on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, and what these studies suggest with respect to decreased opioid and alcohol use by users of medical marijuana.

To access the painweek.org library of information on medical marijuana, click here.

Senator Warren’s letter may be read here.

The news story, with additional links to recent research on medical marijuana as pain therapy, may be read here.