Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has made it a hallmark of his career to speak up for medical cannabis, legalization, and the transformative effect reform could have on the United States. He consistently introduces and cosponsors bills to legalize cannabis federally, as well as many efforts to improve the legal marijuana markets already in place.
His latest remarks took place on the floor of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The topic was the opioid epidemic, and when Blumenauer took the floor, clad in his signature bowtie, a bicycle pin peering out from the label of his blazer, he didn’t mince words.
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“I appreciate the focus on the opioid crisis that grips every community, to some degree, and affects every state. Especially critical for our veterans, who are twice as likely to die of accidental overdose. As we’re slowly acknowledging the depths of the opioid crisis, which is good, we seldom acknowledge one of the simplest, most effective solutions: medical marijuana, cannabis. Now available in 28 states, largely driven by the voters,” he said, gesturing emphatically to drive the point home. “Not the politicians.”
He distributed a one-sheet page of information, complete with sources cited, to the members of the committee, entitled “Physician Guide to Cannabis-Assisted Opioid Reduction,” referencing how cannabis can reduce opioid overdose deaths, can reduce opioid consumption in general, and can help prevent dose escalation, as well as the development of an opioid tolerance.
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He paused and looked up to address the floor. “Mr. Chairman, we don’t talk much about this, although repeatedly on the floor