By Ed Coghlan.
The U.S. Pain Foundation is pointing to two pieces of federal legislation that it believes the chronic pain community should be supporting.
The Marijuana Effective Drug Studies (MEDS) Act was introduced by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The purpose of this bill (S.1803) is to encourage scientific research on cannabis as an effective and safe medical treatment. The MEDS Act was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s up to advocates to ensure committee members understand how helpful medical cannabis research can be for those living with chronic conditions.
If you want to register your support for the bill, you can do that by clicking here. By the way, when I tried to enter my zip code, they asked me for my nine digit code. If that’s what happens to you, here’s where you can find yours.
The second bill gets at the treatment issue which is so critical to the chronic pain community.
The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act (H.R.4733/S.2260) will expand, intensify, and coordinate research to improve the understanding of pain and develop safer and more effective pain treatments. It also will help fund the development of improved options for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder and opioid overdose reversal.
“We need advocates to submit letters to their senators and representatives, urging them to cosponsor this landmark legislation, which aims to help both people pain and those with substance use disorder,” said Shaina Smith, Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development for the US Pain Foundation.
To support the bill, you can click here.
While the discussion on chronic pain treatment has largely centered on the availability of opioids in the past two years, the broader discussion of more research and education needs to be amplified. These two bills help that goal.
Let us know if you plan to support the legislation—and if not, share with us why that is.