According to Surgeon General Jerome Adams, medical marijuana may not be the solution to the growing opioid crisis that the United States is seeing.
While he is committed to solving the crisis, he is not sure if medical marijuana is how to do it.
“We go around the country and we hear about the burden—2.1 million people with opioid use disorder. A person dying every 12 minutes from an opioid overdose. The reality is it can seem overwhelming, it can seem depressing,” he said.
Adams was speaking as a guest at the Examining Opioids forum hosted by The Washington Examiner in Washington, D.C.
He also said during an interview that smoking marijuana can be harmful to young people. Adams remarked, “We know that exposing the developing brain to marijuana can prime the brain to addiction and have potential negative consequences including promoting cancer.”
Due to the risks, he does not recommend the drug as medication. He explained, “It would be incredibly disingenuous of me to say that you shouldn’t smoke a cigarette but it is fine to go out and smoke a joint.”
He did at least point out that studies on the drug need to be looked at and said, “I think it is important that we do look at the studies, but I also think it is important that we not jump on something that may have more potential consequences down the road.”