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Marijuana benefits abound as new policy looms

Despite the upheaval of the current presidential administration, some things just haven't changed, like acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg's Obama-era insistence last month that "marijuana is not medicine."

Though he also stated that he'd "be the last person to stand in the way" if medical uses of marijuana rise through the FDA process. (Here's where we count on Sue Sisley's research in Phoenix.)

But Rosenberg doesn't seem to pay attention to what happens in Phoenix. If he did, he might hear about a small clinic using marijuana to treat opioid addiction.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a statewide health emergency on June 5 because of the opioid epidemic. Blue Door Therapeutics in Scottsdale boasts on its website that it gets twice as many patients through one-year recovery than the industry standard.

It uses a combination of marijuana and traditional medicine to address symptoms of nausea and anxiety associated with opioid withdrawals. Blue Door doesn't use inhalation methods of marijuana treatment but instead uses pills and patches as well as CBD to treat opioid addiction.

According to the clinic's co-founder, Dr. Ravi Chandiramani, N.D., cannabis receptors are located in the same area of the brain as opioid receptors but don't affect breathing, which is the main cause of death in opioid overdoses.

Blue Door isn't one of a kind. Treatment facilities that use marijuana to treat opioid addiction exist all over the country—another indicator that maybe there are some medical benefits to marijuana.

For the most part, the medical variety seems pretty safe despite Rosenberg's comments. Most opponents of recreational marijuana seem to accept medical uses of marijuana.

While the race continues for the last word on marijuana policy between advocates and the opposing leaders in the administration, the only footing for significantly stricter enforcement is against recreational users, and that footing is slipping fast.

Medical marijuana programs have a strong hold on the majority of the country, and opposing points can't keep up with the benefits and debunked myths about marijuana.

Even the Secret Service is loosening regulations on marijuana use to allow younger agents to fill a new 3,000-agent quota. It looks like they couldn't find enough people who hadn't smoked marijuana in their lifetime to hire as many new recruits as they'd like.

Though Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still hard lining against marijuana on all fronts, Donald Trump still hasn't piped up since making campaign promises on state's rights in line with a more traditional Republican philosophy.

As with the rest of the policy that has come out of the administration since Jan. 20, it seems the president's stance will belong to the last person he speaks with before he makes a decision.

Whatever it is, we can expect a decision soon, as the Department of Justice announced in April that it was forming a subcommittee within a larger crime-reduction task force that will have some sort of decision on July 27.

Members of the subcommittee have been kept petty tightly under wraps. Neither the National Cannabis Industry Association nor the Marijuana Policy Project have a say in the policy reviewal.

U.S. News and World Report identified Steve Cook, an anti-marijuana assistant U.S. attorney from Tennessee, and Michael Murray, counsel to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as co-chairs of the committee.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, requested a meeting with Sessions, but Sessions denied the request, according to his spokesperson.

While it's well-known that Trump lost the popular vote, his administration may continue to work against the interests of the majority of Americans on this front as a Quinnipiac University poll showed 73 percent of Americans support states' rights, and Gallup's most recent poll still shows 60 percent of Americans are for legalization.

Any significant departure from current policy would disrupt a $6.7 billion industry. Surely none of Trump's moral conquests could be worth that much money.

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