New Mexico suffers the highest incidence of opioid OD and death in the nation west of Tennessee. University of New Mexico research on alternatives to opioid prescription drug use is world-class. I received my addiction and pain management training from the UNM School of Medicine. I hold seven certifications.
After six highly-successful months of employment with Hawaiian Electric, HEI CEO Connie Lau discharged me for the legal use of medical cannabis rather than choosing an opioid. Never used before or during work. Only in the evening before bed. She would not have fired me had I used an opioid.
HEI HR rep Shana Buco claimed I was a “danger to coworkers, the company and general public.” Said I was “intoxicated and impaired at work.” Kicked me out of the building never to return, as she told me I was a criminal engaged in “illegal activity.”
CEO Lau is considered a “remarkable” woman in Hawai’i. She is the highest paid employee in the islands at over $5.7 million last year. Her actions are admired by many here. She devastated our family.
CEO Constance Hee Lau discriminates not just against me, but over 26,000+ suffering medical patients in Hawai’i. We made a more safe decision for our medical needs. Untrained CEOs decide medical decisions; not licensed medical professionals.
CEO Lau not only fired me; she refuses to even speak with me. She disrespects my research, scientific and medical background from the University of New Mexico and shames the talented, gracious employees of Hawaiian Electric.
Opioids KILL; Cannabis Saves Lives
A new law in Colorado allows doctors to prescribe cannabis rather than opioids. Gov. Jared Polis signed the legislation May 2019, and expands the list of medical conditions that qualify for cannabis subscriptions to include conditions that can be treated with opioids. [source]
“Colorado loses a community member to drug overdose roughly every nine hours, with opioids contributing to over half those deaths. Those deaths are preventable. In light of these statistics, it is incumbent on our lawmakers to provide physicians with opportunities to discuss alternatives to opioids and to provide patients with choices even if additional research regarding medical cannabis is necessary.”
Jared Polis, governor of Colorado
University of New Mexico Research Findings
Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers at The University of New Mexico found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. [source]
With a mounting opioid epidemic at full force and relatively few alternative pain medications available to the general public, scientists found conclusive support that cannabis is very effective at reducing pain caused by different types of health conditions, with relatively minimal negative side effects.
The study is published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, “The Effectiveness of Self-Directed Medical Cannabis Treatment for Pain.”
“Cannabis offers the average patient an effective alternative to using opioids for general use in the treatment of pain with very minimal negative side effects for most people.”
Jacob Miguel Vigil, one of the lead investigators of the study
Co-author Sarah Stith pointed out that even just rescheduling cannabis just from Schedule I to Schedule II, (i.e., classifying it with fentanyl, oxycodone, and cocaine rather than heroin and ecstasy), could dramatically improve our ability to conduct research and only would require that the DEA recognizes that accepted medical uses for cannabis exist, as clearly evidenced by our results and the flourishing medical cannabis programs in the majority of U.S. states.
“Perhaps the most surprising result is just how widespread relief was with symptom relief reported in about 95 percent of cannabis administration sessions and across a wide variety of different types of pain,” added lead author of the study, Xiaoxue Li.
Study authors do caution cannabis use does carry risks of addiction and short-term impairments in cognitive and behavioral functioning, and may not be effective for everyone.
However, there are multiple mechanisms by which cannabis alleviates pain suffering. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis activates receptors that are colocalized with opioid receptors in the brain. “Cannabis with high THC also causes mood elevation and adjusts attentional demands, likely distracting patients from the aversive sensations that people refer to “pain,” explains Vigil.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”