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Democratic Texas state Sen. Jose Menendez introduced a bill Tuesday aiming to expand the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana use to include pain management.
Currently, the Texas Compassionate Use Program only allows those with suffering from intractable epilepsy to use a specific type of medical marijuana as a treatment.
Senate Bill 269 would expand the list considerably to include more than two dozen applicable conditions, including severe pain, according a statement from Sen. Menendez’s office on Tuesday.
Sen. Menendez hopes the change can help curb opioid abuse in Texas, according to the statement.
“Medical cannabis has proven to be a safer and more effective drug than many prescription painkillers currently offered,” the statement said. “Texas could see a reduction in prescription drug abuse by allowing alternative medicine.”
Workers comp experts say medical marijuana could replace the use of dangerous opioid painkillers for injured workers, but many say the jury is out on whether marijuana is a safe pain treatment alternative.
DANA POINT, California — With medical marijuana being legal in 25 states and Washington — and with some of them mandating health insurance reimbursements — workers compensation experts say it is still unclear whether cannabis could replace highly addictive opioids in an effort to safely manage pain.
“It’s a false choice,” said Michael Gavin, president of Prium, a Duluth Georgia-based medical cost management firm, during a panel discussion on trends in workers comp at the California Workers’ Compensation & Risk Conference in Dana Point, California this month. He warned that medical evidence is not conclusive on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana.