Trump Unveils Plan on Opioid Crisis, Makes Zero Mention of Marijuana

There are companies such as Axim Biotechnologies Inc, Nemus Bioscience Inc and Intec Pharma Ltd have, who are developing painkillers derived from marijuana. But the US government has not approved any cannabis-based drugs to relieve pain.

Studies have also indicated that in some of the 29 US states where medical marijuana is legal, opioid overdoses and deaths are reduced.

But US President Donald Trump didn’t consider or even make any mention of marijuana as a possible alternative when he unveiled his plan to combat the opioid crisis on Monday in New Hampshire.

Instead, Trump personally thanked the head of Adapt Pharma for the upcoming free distribution of their product Narcan, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.

Giving an opioid antidote Narcan, however, is not new nor did it help in reducing overdose deaths.

Naloxene another drug that reverses 93 percent of overdoses is also not that effective as many of the recipients don’t survive a year.

There are about 100 million Americans, who suffer from chronic pain, and require opioid painkillers, or addicted to street opiates including heroin, according to Scientific American. In 2015, opioid overdose killed more than 33,000 people in the United States including famed figures such as the singer Prince and Hollywood actor Heath Ledger.

Part of the series of new steps announced by Trump in New Hampshire is calling on the Department of Justice to “seek the death penalty against drug traffickers, where appropriate under the current law.”

Trump pushed for the death penalty citing that “zero tolerance” policies be taken by countries he didn’t want to name.

“Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you and we will arrest you and we will hold you accountable,” Trump said.

Trump praised US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he appointed in February last year. Sessions has waged an anti-marijuana campaign since January and he doesn’t believe that marijuana can be of any help to solve this epidemic.

There are 29 US states that have legalized medical marijuana and 9 others, who legalized recreational cannabis.

In late February, Americans, especially those affected by the opioid crisis, poured their hearts out through a public hearing in Hartford city in the U.S. state of Connecticut.

However, despite their emotional plea, the Board of Physicians postponed their decision, saying that they needed additional information from experts in those fields.