NORML’s Deputy Director Debunks Sean Spicer’s Claims That Legalized Marijuana Promotes Opioid Abuse

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In a Hill op-ed, NORML refutes claims that cannabis contributes to increased opioid consumption, uses facts and data to highlight the inverse correlation between opioid abuse and medical marijuana.


Washington, DC: On Thursday, White House Press Secretary lied to the American public when he claimed “I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people (by regulating the adult use of marijuana)” during his daily press conference.


Paul Armentano, Deputy Director for NORML, published a response in The Hill newspaper systematically refuting this claim.


“Yet even a cursory look at the available evidence finds Spicer’s concerns to be misplaced and his allegations to be dead wrong.


In reality, permitting legal access to cannabis is consistently associated with reduced rates of opioid use, abuse, and mortality.”


Armentano cites several relevant peer-reviewed studies from the US, Canada, and Israel to bolster his arguments.


He concludes: “Proponents of marijuana prohibition have long alleged that experimentation with pot acts as a ‘gateway’ to the use and eventual abuse of other illicit substances. But the evidence does not support this claim. In reality, permitting marijuana sales to be regulated by licensed, state-authorized distributors rather than by criminal entrepreneurs and pushers of various other illicit drugs results in fewer, not more, Americans abusing other, potentially more dangerous substances.”


You can read the piece by clicking here.




NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.


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