Colorado Doctors Prescribe Cannabis Instead of Opiates

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by Dan Larkin

Colorado doctors can now prescribe cannabis instead of opiates. That means that medical cannabis can be prescribed for any condition that would have been treated with prescription opiates. How is that possible? Well, it’s thanks to a new law. The law went into effect on August 2nd.

Is Colorado the first state to do this?

They actually aren’t the first state to do this. In fact, the move makes Colorado the third state to create this option for doctors and patients. The other two states are New York and Illinois.

You should also note that New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for anyone diagnosed with opioid use disorder.

Also of note, Colorado’s law is unique. You see, doctors in Colorado can prescribe medical cannabis for post-op patients too.

“It was designed to give physicians a legal, open option to discuss (medical cannabis) with patients. It normalizes the conversation around the issue.”

Rep. Edie Hooton (D), Colorado bill’s co-sponsor

Is this a big deal?

This is really a big deal. And should be adopted by the entire country. Doctors and patients need to be able to have open, honest conversations about cannabis. Conversations without either side worrying about ramifications.

This normalization of cannabis is key to better care and safer treatment of patients. It comes at a time when opioid abuse and death are ravaging families across the country.

Most states have laws allowing some medical cannabis use. Eleven states have legalized adult-use. Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. As a result, many states are reluctant to legalize it.

Will other states consider passing a similar option? If so, when? Where does your state stand?

Read more CannabisIRL articles about medical cannabis here.

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