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University of Michigan study finds chronic pain sufferers turning to medical marijuana

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Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
A new University of Michigan study finds three in ten adult patients being treated for chronic pain are turning to medical marijuana

A new University of Michigan study finds three in ten of adult patients dealing with chronic pain are turning to medical marijuana.

Dr. Mark Bicket is the co-director of U of M’s Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network. He says researchers were surprised to see how many adult patients were turning to medical marijuana to deal with chronic pain and not just that.

“The fact that it was decreasing both prescription opioid use and use of other medicines was surprising to us,” said Bicket.

Bicket says more research needs to be done into the effects of medical marijuana.

“We don’t know how safe and effective cannabis is for chronic pain,” Bicket said, “And that’s in part because cannabis isn’t really regulated the same way that prescription drugs are.”

Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, including Michigan.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.