Photo via Gage Skidmore
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi isn’t shy about her opinions on how to fix the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, including the use of medical marijuana and centuries-old exercise practices.
According to a report from Marijuana Moment, Pelosi recently spoke at an event in support of legislation to increase funding for opioid abuse treatment, prevention, and research. During the press conference, the House Minority Leader pinpointed cannabis as a saving grace in the fight against the nation’s overdose crisis.
“Doctors say, ‘Don’t tell us how many pills we can prescribe.’ Well maybe we should,” said Pelosi. “Others say there are other ways to relieve stress and relieve pain and that you don’t need opioids in the first place. We are too reliant to transition from them. Marijuana, yoga, all kinds of other things that are homeopathic but are not addictive in this dangerous way.”
As America continues to struggle with the death and destruction stemming from a nationwide overprescription of opioid-based painkillers, marijuana has been demonstrated to be effective in both combating addiction and reducing chronic pain itself. But while Pelosi’s constituents in California have been able to substitute pills for legal pot for almost two decades, much of the country has been slower to adapt, with federal authorities still denying the controversial plant’s medicinal qualities.
Pelosi was speaking specifically on behalf of the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act — introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Elijah Cummings — which would, if passed, set aside $100 billion in federal funding over the next 10 years to combat the opioid crisis. The proposal includes specific funding structures that would disseminate resources based on overdose prevalence and dire need.
And while the CARE Act would not make any specific concessions for medical marijuana access or research, the issues of opioid addiction and cannabis reform have become increasingly intertwined over the past few years, with heaps of demographic and clinical research showing significant decreases in opioid addiction in places where marijuana is legal.
Sen. Warren, one of the authors behind the CARE Act, is also leading the charge on a federal bill that would protect state-legal cannabis industries from federal interference. If both bills are successfully passed into law, states like Pelosi’s California and Warren’s Massachusetts would presumably have increased opportunities and leniency to use medical marijuana on a wider scale in the fight against opioid addiction.
Outside of Pelosi’s high-profile support for the CARE Act, Sen. Warren’s cannabis states’ rights bill has already amassed the support of the American public, with a recent poll finding that 74% of respondents want to see legal protections for state-permitted pot legislated at the federal level.
As for yoga, we’ve heard that cannabis can help with that, too.