In a session with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Congressman Earl Blumenauer testified marijuana could combat the opioid epidemic. This hypothesis is not new. But the fact that a member of Congress is now openly behind it is huge.
Who Is Earl Blumenauer?
If you’re not familiar with the name, we’ll give you the rundown.
Earl Blumenauer is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, repping Oregon’s third congressional district. Born and raised in Portland, he has been a member of the Democratic Party since the early 1970s. His political career, thus far, has been based entirely in his home state. In 1972, he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. He then rose up in the governmental ranks until 1996, when he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Throughout his career in Congress, he has been vocal in his advocacy for environmental protection, as displayed through his pushes for improved mass transit in Portland.
If the name Earl Blumenauer is ringing any bells, it’s because we’ve reported on him before. Two years ago, Representative Blumenauer called for the firing of DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg. His reason? Rosenberg’s archaic position on medical marijuana.
Oh, and he also co-authored the newest revision of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. Now titled the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, it’s purpose is to protect states with medical marijuana programs from federal interference.
The Opioid Epidemic
In recent years, the epidemic of opioid addiction has been the subject of scrutiny, discussion, analysis and anxious handwringing. While everyone seems to agree that the opioid epidemic is out of control, experts and lawmakers have yet to agree on the best tactic to fix the problem. Or at least to combat it effectively.
Although it’s still federally illegal, some addiction experts are saying that cannabis can quell addiction.
Because cannabis is non-addictive and has myriad health benefits, the idea is far from preposterous. But because of prohibition, federal researchers can’t study the effects of medical cannabis on opioid addiction.
Back to Blumenauer
Yesterday, the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing. Called “Member Day: Testimony and Proposals on the Opioid Crisis,” it was meant to discuss the titular public health catastrophe. During the hearing, Blumenauer testified marijuana could combat the opioid epidemic.
He bolstered his testimony with his recently introduced piece of legislation, House Resolution 3391. The legislation, sponsored by Republican Representative Andy Harris, is a call to make marijuana more easily accessible to medical researchers, which would require an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act.
Blumenauer also used his time to distribute an information sheet titled “Physician Guide to Cannabis-Assisted Opioid Reduction.” The guide is one-page long and includes an additional bibliography.
The congressman concluded his testimony by calling medical cannabis “the cheapest, most effective way to stop the crisis.”
Final Hit: Earl Blumenauer Testified Marijuana Could Combat The Opioid Epidemic
It’s no secret that opioid abuse in the United States is out of control. Addiction is a disease that destroys lives and ruins relationships. The epidemic of opioid abuse has gotten so bad that President Trump, after much prodding and needling, has finally declared it a national emergency. He’s not doing anything about it, but that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t try. In the face of a substance abuse epidemic, we need all the research and tools we can get. If cannabis is even a possible solution, it’s absolutely worth looking into.