Commentary: Endorsing Cannabis as an Opioid Substitute ‘Irresponsible’

This is yet another piece of propaganda in the counter-attack by Big Pharma/FDA/DEA on our progress. So sad, so stereotypical and so mistaken.

I am really embarrassed by this endless repetition of falsehoods and circular reasoning. I think we have to call it for what it is, push forward the recent World Health Organization recommendations for rescheduling to lowest category possible, which would facilitate better research on safer alternatives that could end this epidemic. Anything else is what is irresponsible.

-Dr. David Ostrow

Endorsing Cannabis as an Opioid Substitute 'Irresponsible'

By Alicia Ault for Medscape

Even as two states have passed laws to encourage clinicians to use cannabis as a substitute for opioids, some experts are warning against this practice.

Two addiction experts — Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, and Richard Saitz, MD, professor and chair of the department of community health sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Massachusetts — argue that "substituting cannabis for opioid addiction treatments is potentially harmful."

Saitz, who is also a former director of Boston Medical Center's Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, said he and Humphreys decided to write the article, which was published online February 1 in JAMA, because patients and physicians have been "chattering" about cannabis as an opioid substitute.

"The conversation has generally assumed cannabis to be safer and as effective as opioids, but it isn't clear what the truth is," Saitz told Medscape Medical News. Read More at Medscape...