Is Rapidly Growing Support for Marijuana Going to Force Trump to Rethink It

Is Rapidly Growing Support for Marijuana Going to Force Trump to Rethink It

By Ed Coghlan

As the pressure on opioids grows, support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high.

President Donald Trump—who promised his opioid declaration months ago—said Wednesday he would declare a national emergency next week on opioid abuse, a move that could give states access to federal funds to fight the drug crisis.

Meanwhile, for the first time ever, majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republican voters say believe marijuana should be legal for adults. That’s according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup.  64 percent of US adults now back legalizing marijuana which is believed to be the highest ever recorded in a national poll.

For chronic pain patients, many of whom feel under siege because of the relentless political pressure on opioids, the marijuana polls are interesting news. Many chronic pain patients already use marijuana to manage their pain.

Marijuana is still illegal nationally, which is ironic given that eight states (including  the largest one, California) and the District of Columbia have all fully legalized marijuana. To give you a sense of how much national attitudes have changed on marijuana, Gallup first asked people about their views on marijuana legalization in 1969 and only 12% said they approved.

The poll results put pressure on Attorney General Jeff Sessions who curiously has aggressively resisted efforts to even study marijuana for medical use.

Rank-and-file Republicans’ views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats’ and independents’ have, though Republicans remain least likely to support legalizing pot. But still 51% of self-identified Republicans believes marijuana should be legal.

The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that Americans have become more liberal on a variety of social issues.

“Marijuana legalization is far more popular than Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump and will survive them both,” Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.

Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, a cannabis advocacy group, told Business Insider in a statement that it would be “politically disastrous,” for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to initiate a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses.

“Despite threatening rhetoric from some Trump administration officials, Americans’ support for regulating marijuana like alcohol only continues to rise year over year,” Angell added.

Question:

If you are a chronic pain sufferer, are you using marijuana more than you used to because you believe opioids are going to be harder to find for chronic pain treatment?

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Nick at 9:41 pm

    Amazing how it’s 2017 and despite all the proof needed people still classify marijuana as a drug.

  2. Notasheep at 8:02 pm

    Who can afford it? Even if I could, you can lose your medicaid, snap and any other federally funded program help. Now that should be the real story, ” Chronic pain patients and PTSD sufferers encouraged to use marijuana while the federal government saves billions in their lost benifits do to
    use of illegal drug! “.

  3. MA Stewart at 1:08 am

    Remember there always Street drugs and sooner or later people are going to start looking for any way they can to get out of pain. There wasn’t an epidemic before but there soon will be.

  4. MA Stewart at 12:47 am

    Trump and the CDC are idiots do they really think that hurting people who have chronic pain is going to stop this so called epidemic. When people are in so much pain they commit suicide or start getting Street drugs which anyone sooner or later will get. The cartels get stronger and make more money. No one can stop all the drugs coming into US from other countries. Trump and CDC are idiots and don’t know anything about chronic pain.

  5. susan stephenson at 12:13 am

    TERRY- You are spot on with your great comments!

    The legitimate chronic pain, opiate maintained pts. are not, nor have they ever been the problem. You’re right again.

    Ignorance can be fixed by education. We cannot “fix stupid” which are those we’ve been saddled with in the political arena…those making horrid decisions determining OUR pain mgt.!

    The whole focus has been the obscession with the staggering number of drug addicts who have ODed and thousands dead due to same. So many deaths.. This is not the fault of the chronic pain pt. community at all, but rather the fault of people who consciously chose to make incredibly stupid choices. Common sense should have told them ” Play with fire, get burned…or perhaps die the first time around.”

    There is no “opiate crisis.” There is certainly a pain crisis and the chronic pain pts. are indeed paying the price…Suffering. Plenty of blame goes to the addicts…

    Gov. Chris Christie made zero effort to outreach a single chronic pain pt. opiate maintained. Further, he made no outreach to Bd. certified chronic pain practitioners. 3/3 meetings he held and the final “Opiate Crisis Report” is due from Christie’s office to Pres. Trump 11/1. Even worse, pain community contacted Christie’s office and we were ignored…time and again… It has not been possible to educate the politicians. They choose to keep their head deep into the sand…and make decisions re pain mgt. which they have zero medical qualifications or expertise to substantiate. Simply put, they only care about addicts, deaths from OD’s. They could care less about the pain pts. and their true suffering…nor could they care less about suicides from pain no longer managed due to lack of opiate access. But, nobody’s tracking THAT!

  6. Laura P Schulman, M.D. at 8:16 pm

    Yes indeed, I use cannabis almost exclusively for my spinal stenosis and arthritis pain. In fact, I needed surgery last winter, and knowing I would face extra scrutiny while taking opioids postop, I used cannabis to wean off of gabapentin, tizanidine, and lorazepam (prescribed for both muscle spasms and PTSD). While I did use as much Dilaudid as I needed for comfort, I leaned heavily on my pre-dosed cannabis vape, and found that between the vape for breakthrough pain and regular doses of a 2:1 CBD:THC tincture, I ended up only needing 5 of the Dilaudid tablets.

    This medicine is being actively suppressed because…It Works! And of course Big Pharma is racing to bring synthetic THC preparations (redundant, unnecessary, and much less effective than whole plant medicine) into the market.

    We clearly need new legislation, and we need to use the court system to block Sessions’ absurd agenda.

  7. Alison at 5:58 pm

    I wish I could use marijuana for my chronic pain. Unfortunately, I have terrible mental instability after using marijuana. It takes me weeks to get back on an even keel after its use.

  8. Mona Twocats-Romero at 5:01 pm

    I was just talking with my wife today about trying to taper off opioids because they will soon be illegal. I take a very small dose, yes smaller than the 90mm which is on it’s way to being lowered even more. The fact that the small amount of opiates I take make my life livable.. I was once on three times the dose I am now, and I could function much better than I can now. I worked on larger doses of opiates, but had to stop when my dosage was dropped because I was in too much pain to function. I have a very hard time just doing my activities of daily living and can NEVER get them done since on the lower dose. I spend much more time in bed, in agony, writhing in pain and much less time doing anything productive since my dose was lowered. It has been about a year now, so it isn’t the pain of withdrawal, which my friends all shouted after my pain shot up like a rocket after the decrease. No, I am still in even more pain now a year later. I’ve had more major damage to my spinal column and nerves due to the increased pain and the unnatural body motions that are breaking me down into bits day by day. I can see the hysteria building and Harry Anslinger like tactics at government agencies and in Congress. It’s the new drug war. We’ll drag that old jalopy out of the barn and stick a brand new military police engine in it. We will build more and more “for-profit prisons”. When you make criminals a commodity you have to keep those corporate engines running and every bed full.

  9. Karen Augustine at 1:15 pm

    I am blessed to still have my Fentanyl patch, although they have cut my dose in half. If they tell me they are going to reduce my dose again I will completely go off the patch so I won’t have to abide by a drug agreement with my doctor, then I will start using marijuana again. I smoked weed as a teenager, haven’t used it since, but I am 58 years old with 5 autoimmune diseases and will look for relief anyplace that I can get it at this point

  10. Neldine Ludwigson at 11:22 am

    Two problems with marijuana for me. It’s far too expensive to use on a limited budget. When I tried it my pain was actually worse, not better. Will try to continue to responsibly use the narcotic pain medication that is more affordable and works better. This OPIOID CRISIS is ridiculous, it was a thing nearly a decade ago. Good luck getting a prescription at all, to say nothing of enough to keep a junkie high.

  11. Terry at 9:24 am

    I read every one of these reports when I receive them. What I don’t understand is why somebody doesn’t put together real percentages from real studies on the opioid abuse problem. From what I have found in my research only 8% of the overdoses in the United States are from legal prescription drugs, and something like 85% are from other opioids including heroin. Somebody needs to present correct statistics for this so-called opioid epidemic, which from what I have been reading is all a bunch of crap. My pain management doctor has been lowering my pain meds for the past four months, now I’ve gone from a high-functioning person to a low-to-medium functioning person. I just wish somebody could find an answer so these pain management doctors would stop messing with our meds. I have been taking pain meds for 8 years and just like a lot of people that write in have never failed a urine test or ran out early, Etc. So basically this whole opioid epidemic is all based on 100% incorrect statistics, somebody needs to do an actual real study with real numbers. For all of us chronic pain patients life is becoming unbearable. Also my doctor keeps quoting the CDC guidelines like they were law. I keep pointing out to him that they are just guidelines and each case has to be judged on an individual basis to be fair to all legitimate, chronic pain patients. The suicide rate for chronic pain patients is going to skyrocket.

  12. Danny Elliott at 8:38 am

    I’m a child of the 70s, graduating from high school in 79. Obviously, I’m saying that I used marijuana back then. After my accident in 1991, after I realized that my severe head pain was permanent, I used it a few times while in the worst of my pain. I can’t say that it reduced my pain, but I did feel better in a way that I can’t exactly describe. But once I found my current Pain Management Specialist in 2002 and had to take a drug test at every appointment, I haven’t been able to use marijuana. If I could, I most certainly would, just to feel a little better.

  13. Kathy C at 8:24 am

    First Off, Trump is not going to Re-think anything. With Sessions in charge of the D.O.J, only the most backwards Alternate Reality facts and Ideology gets through. It is a big mistake to expect any kind of reasonable thought our behavior from this group. Science and Facts do not sway the in any way. It would be a lot more reasonable to ask if one of the Right Wing Talks Shows promoted Marijuana, would Trump rethink it.
    At the same time Marijuana is being promoted as “Cure All and a replacement for opiates, while the facts show it is neither. There are a lot of people who could benefit from it even though it is not a “Cure.” The Fact that it can help with sleep, is not being mentioned. This important benefit appears to have been left out of the dialogue. The most interesting observation about Marijuana is that ii is being used to replace a lot or prescription Psych Medications. The Random Pharma products currently being dispensed, are ineffective, dangerous and have a lot of Side Effects. Most of the have never been truly evaluated, nor are the benefits, Side Effects or long term issues tracked. The Pharma Industry found that kind of “research” would be bad for Business. They represented the comparison of one Pharma Products to the other as “Science.” No Double Blind Studies were done comparing any of these drugs to Marijuana, or even to nothing.
    In Post Fact America the most ridiculous Propaganda from the 1940’s is guiding Policy. The Facts we can verify are that where Medical Marijuana has been legalized, many prescription, Anti Anxiety, Anti Depressants, and sleep medications have been replaced by Marijuana. This Fact should be interesting in itself. It shows that the random Pharma Products are ineffective, even though they have been Marketed and freely prescribed for these conditions. Since Pharma is so powerful these Facts are being edited out of the conversation. The Fact that these Dangerous Pharma products are freely prescribed with no long term look at their effectiveness, usefulness or benefits is being deliberately ignored. No one is looking at the big picture, the pervasive power of Big Pharma, and how they infiltrated regulatory Boards, bought our Politicians, and undermined “Science.”
    Speculating about what the Rogues Gallery in D.C might do is a waste of time. What we do know is that the most backwards, unscientific and most financially beneficial to the Pharma or other Industries idea will get implemented.

  14. Deborah K Fitzgerald at 7:36 am

    Like so many others I am a Chronic Pain patient being treated at a Pain Clinic. I am, and have been for years, taking Opioids for pain relief. Over the past several months I’ve been tapered down on the dose I’m allowed to take. However my pain level has not decreased with the lowered dosage. That has lead to an awful lot of tremendous pain. Same old story as many before me have told. You can’t help but wonder why. Why must I suffer like this? What could the reason be? I do have an opinion as to the why.
    Does it make any sense to anyone other than myself that the answer could simply be DOLLARS? I think that money is the driving force. Profit is the reason so many of us are suffering in horrible pain. If a person were smart they might add to their portfolio several shares of stock from the companies who are supplying marijuana to the states where it is legal. Doesn’t it make sense that the worth of such stock will only increase in value as more and more states join in? As demand grows so does the supply. Increased supply in turn causes increased profits. Does that not then make the stock worth more? I’m not a genius by any means but it really doesn’t take one to see the Silver Lining a lot of people stand to gain here. Maybe I should have said GOLD Lining!
    This is my opinion and only my opinion. I have no proof of my opinion being right. I do think that it might be interesting to know if any of the ones with the power to make the regulations that took my opioids have any such stock in their portfolios. The human race has a long history of people doing things for money they might not normally do. Am I the only one that has had such thoughts? I wonder because I’ve not seen a single written word on the subject. Maybe I’m just grasping at straws here or have too much time on my hands. One really has to wonder just what is the reason for my suffering as well as One Million or more others who are suffering as bad or worse.
    While I just can’t buy into the two words that have been offered, “Opioid Epidemic”, I am considering buying some stock. It looks like a sure thing for getting compensation for the suffering I am enduring.

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