“Marijuana has been called a gateway drug, but is marijuana the new gateway drug out of opioid addiction?” Mehmet Oz, physician and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” asks in a recent segment featuring Krishna Andavolu, host of VICELAND’s “Weediquette.”
Oz and Andavolu discuss the rise of Americans using marijuana as a method for kicking opioid addiction.
Andavolu, who covers marijuana full time as a journalist for VICE, recalls the story of Bo Davis, a Maine man who successfully sought treatment for opioid addiction at an unaccredited (yet, technically legal under state law) medical cannabis detox camp.
Andavolu explains that anecdotal stories like Davis’ are common, but due to federal marijuana prohibition there isn’t much large-scale research to back up such anecdotal claims that marijuana helps people recover from opioid addiction.
Mainstream medicine won’t embrace medical marijuana until that type of research exists. And unless federal laws change, Andavolu says it will remain very difficult for scientists to actually conduct large-scale medical cannabis research or clinical trials in the United States.
There’s a “potential that marijuana could be a gateway out [of opioid addiction], and we should be exploring any way out,” he tells Oz.