New York Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell thinks it’s time to treat opioid addictions with cannabis.
“Cannabis is now an exit drug, and this solution is a solution that could very well work,” he stated in an interview with NowThis. “Growing up in New York, cannabis was an entry level drug, but now we know very clearly that, in fact, it can be an exit drug.”
O’Donnell believes that cannabis can be used to help people who are suffering from addiction. As a representative of Upper Manhattan, he’s introduced bill 9016 in the New York State Assembly, which would allow the use of medical marijuana to treat opioid addictions.
He explained that weed is already being implemented in different parts of the country to help addicts with treatment. As a public defender for seven years in Brooklyn, he says he witnessed many opioid addictions, which were being treated with methadone. The substance apparently destroyed his clients’ bodies and didn’t help the city’s death tolls from rising. Additionally, he found that, in places where medical marijuana is legally available for people who are opioid addicted, there’s a 25% reduction in hospitalizations from the use of opioids.
“I’m simply saying we need more tools in the toolbox to treat the thousands of and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are currently addicted,” he stated.