Opioid Commission Ignores Nearly 8,000 Comments about Pot

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The president’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by Chris Christie, issued a preliminary report, which called on Trump to “declare a national emergency” and advocated for more measures to increase addiction treatment and reduce the supply of illicit fentanyl.

The report pointed out all the staggering statistics that we already know and abhor about opiate abuse and overdoses.

“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day,” the report noted, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

That’s grim.

However, the report failed to mention the nearly 8,000 public comments from the public urging the government to consider using marijuana as a solution to the opioid epidemic—especially knowing, as we and the feds do, that cannabis is a viable solution.

As Christie bragged about the report in a public conference call, he repeatedly hyped the public feedback that the commission received.

He cited “more than 8,000 comments from the public,” which he called an “indication there is a real passion out there in the country for getting this done.”

Yes, there is definitely a real passion out there to solve the issue, but how can we when our supposed leaders are not honest about the problem or the solution?

For starters, as Tom Angell, founder of the Marijuana Majority, pointed out: the vast majority of those public comments were related to weed.

The Marijuana Majority and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) had been urging their members and followers to contact the commission.

Alex Barriger, a spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which provides administrative and financial support for the opioid commission, confirmed, per VICE News, that it had received “more than 7,800 public comments relating to marijuana.”

When Barriger was asked about why marijuana was not brought up in the report, Christie’s spokesman did not respond to emails or a phone call from VICE News seeking comment.

We’re already aware of Christie’s attitude toward weed after he went off on it, calling legalizing weed “beyond stupidity” and describing the tax revenue from legal marijuana sales as “blood money.”

“We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates,” Christie said in a speech in May. “But people are saying pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK. Baloney.”

There is a growing body of evidence, undertaken by scientists—not crazy liberals—that suggests marijuana is, in fact, OK.

Researchers at the University of Georgia found that states experience significant declines in painkiller prescriptions after passing medical marijuana laws. Another study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that states with medical marijuana had 27 percent fewer deaths from opioid painkillers, compared to those without.

Despite this growing evidence that marijuana can be effectively used as an alternative to prescription drugs, Christie’s opioid commission called on Trump to order the National Institute of Health to work with pharmaceutical companies to develop “new, non-opioid pain relievers.”

Why do certain people turn to Big Pharma when there is a much simpler, effective and cheaper solution to help the opioid crisis?

That was a rhetorical question.

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