Nurses are well aware of the impact of intractable pain on the quality of life of individual patients, their family and friends. As we know the use of ‘Medical Marijuana’ in Australia remains a topic of hot debate from at a minimum, political, law, general societal , healthcare and human rights perspectives. I’ve enclosed an article from the Medical Journal of Australia which states in part…
“It is now clear that cannabis has genuine medicinal utility, but this has been largely overlooked, with research and society’s attention, in most parts of the world, being directed towards the hazards of its recreational use rather than the benefits of its medicinal use.[i]
The article also identifies that
“A civilised and compassionate country that supports evidence-based medicine and policy should acknowledge that medicinal cannabis is acceptably effective and safe, and probably also cost-effective, especially when the costs of resource use and improvement to the lives and functionality of patients and carers are considered.”[ii]
I read an interesting research article published on line in JAMA Internal Medicine yesterday regarding the association between the presence of American state medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality. The link to the article is enclosed below and in part identified “Opioid analgesic overdose mortality continues to rise in the United States, driven by increases in prescribing for chronic pain. Because chronic pain is a major indication for medical cannabis, laws that establish access to medical cannabis may change overdose mortality related to opioid analgesics in states that have enacted them.” This American Study found that
“Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates.”
Nurses work in a myriad of different settings and with a vast array of peers, patient and client mixes which in part may influence your opinion on this topic.
Please share with us your views on the current debate surround the legalisation of Medical Marijuana!