At a recent press conference about opioids the United States’ Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that there’s “no such thing as medical marijuana”.
“There really is no such thing as medical marijuana,” Azar said during the press conference, which was held in Ohio. “There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.”
The remarks were in response to a reporter’s question asking for Azar’s opinion regarding medical marijuana as a potential pain relief alternative to opioids.
Azar’s comments, though disappointing and ridiculously out-of-touch, aren’t exactly surprising. After all, the federal government still has marijuana listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance, putting it alongside drugs such as heroin
Despite this, several recent studies have found that legal access to marijuana is associated with a reduction in opioid use.