The New York State Health Department plans to make medical marijuana available to more New Yorkers. Opioid use will be the newest addition to the list of qualifying conditions under the state’s medical marijuana program.
The health department characterized the decision as a step toward curbing the opioid epidemic, saying that medical marijuana treats the pain that opioids are meant to address while also reducing the chance of addiction and eliminating the risk of a fatal overdose.
Overdose deaths statewide involving opioids almost tripled from 2010 to 2016, and 109 people died from opioid overdoses in Monroe County in the 12 months from September 2016 to August 2017, the most recent full year of data available from the state.
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