Legal weed: An accidental solution to the opioid crisis? (Stephanie Lake and Dr. M-J Milloy)
It’s hard to go a day in Canada without hearing about at least one of two types of drugs – but for vastly different reasons. One class of drug — opioids — kills four people a day in British Columbia. The other — cannabis — will be legal for adult purchase and consumption by this time next year.
The opioid overdose epidemic is Canada’s gravest public health crisis since the emergence of HIV in the 1980s. With its roots in the over-prescription of high-potency painkillers, sparked by the contamination of the illicit drug supply with fentanyl and related drugs, the crisis has reached across demographic divides. Experts agree on the need for creative responses based in scientific evidence.
Could cannabis legalization be a part of this solution? Increasingly, this is what the latest scientific research indicates.
Stephanie Lake and Dr. M-J Milloy write
Tiko Kerr, Vancouver Artist and patient of Dr. Julio Montaner