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Former New Mexico Sheriff Says Marijuana Can Resolve Opioid Epidemic

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As President Trump declares a nationwide opioid public health emergency, a former Bernalillo County Sheriff is saying that medical marijuana is the solution. Darren White participated in creating a video for a “Just Say No” campaign in 1991, while working with the Albuquerque Police Department, back when he was opposed to all drugs.

Now, White is seeing that medical marijuana may be the solution to the opioid crisis, KOB 4 News reports. He’s also the CEO for a medical marijuana dispensary, PurLife. Opioid overdoses and overdose death tolls continue to rise across the nation.

White said, “You can’t take a steady cocktail of heavy prescription drugs and think that you’re going to have a quality life.”

In 2015, roughly 15,000 people died from opioid overdoses, according to Center for Disease Control statistics.

White said, “Research as shown that medical cannabis can lessen the cravings. It can help with some of the withdrawal symptoms. Most importantly, it’s an alternative for people suffering from chronic pain.”

White uses medical marijuana to manage chronic pain as a result of a leg and back injury sustained as a motorcycle officer in Albuquerque.

He said, “I got to a point in my life, like many people, that I….taking opiates every day is not quality of life. I just wanted to try something different.”

Medical marijuana has changed White’s life for the better and now he’s watching it work for others.

He said, “I had a patient come in who had seven back surgeries and said to me that she hadn’t eliminated the opiates; she was taking over a dozen a day, and she supplements that with medical cannabis. She said the pain is so bad she wouldn’t have been incapable of doing that.”