Thursday, July 2, 2009

Medical Marijuana Poised to Replace Acetaminophen for Pain?


WHAT: Denounced acetaminophen and touted medical marijuana for pain management

WHEN: July 1, 2009

WHERE: Washington, DC and Trenton, NJ

WHY: Acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. while marijuana is non-toxic.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert panel recommended yesterday that Vicodin and Percocet and other prescription drugs that combine acetaminophen with other pain killers be pulled off the American market. Acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver failure in the U.S., according to the FDA. The FDA recommendation will have a profound impact on the management of chronic pain in the U.S. since acetaminophen combination drugs were prescribed 200 million times last year.

Ken Wolski, RN, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ), said, “It is now more important than ever to make marijuana available for chronic pain management. Marijuana is not toxic to the liver and no amount of marijuana can cause a fatal overdose. Chronic pain patients often find that they can reduce or eliminate entirely prescription pain medicine when they use medical marijuana,” he said.

The "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" (S119 & A804), was approved earlier this year by the New Jersey Senate. This bill will allow patients to use a small amount of marijuana when a licensed physician recommends it for chronic pain, nausea, cancer, AIDS,multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc. New Jersey patients who have a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana would be issued state ID cards in a program run by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

A version of the bill was recently released by the Assembly Health Committee and is due for a vote by the entire assembly this fall. Ironically, the assembly committee’s version of the bill would eliminate chronic pain as a qualifying condition, except in rare cases. CMMNJ opposes the assembly health committee’s restrictions to the bill. CMMNJ has collected the names and addresses of over one thousand New Jersey residents who support the original version of the bill. Governor Jon Corzine said that he will sign the bill into law when it gets to his desk.

The American Nurses Association, the American College of Physicians, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and many other professional healthcare organizations have endorsed medical marijuana.

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana. For more info, contact:

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director

Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.

844 Spruce St., Trenton, NJ 08648

ohamkrw [at]

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