Senate committee recommends expanding use of medical marijuana

Senate committee recommends expanding use of medical marijuana

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CONCORD, N.H. — A state Senate committee voted Monday to expand the use of medical marijuana to cover a painful condition. The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the use of medical marijuana be allowed for people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of disorders that affect the body’s connective tissues. Committee chairman Sen. Jeb Bradley called the testimony extremely compelling, as people with EDS testified about the often severe that pain they experience. "Chronic back, joint and neck pain, vision problems, congenital heart valve defects, congenital kidney structure defects," said Lena Zerbinopoulos, who has EDS. "I’ve had 16 surgeries because of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome," Lynette Stebbins said in her testimony. "I have pins and plates and screws in my body because of all of the dislocations and torn ligaments and tendons." EDS attacks the body’s connective tissues, and those who testified before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee said the pain associated with it never goes away. The committee considered a bill that would allow those with EDS to use medical marijuana. Although opioids can be prescribed, Stebbins told the committee that she is afraid to use them. "I have watched what using pain medication has done to some of the addicts in my family," she said. Those afflicted with the syndrome also told the committee that they often suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts. They said medical marijuana can help alleviate that problem. But not everyone with the syndrome agreed with the bill. "You don’t need to take something. You need to do something to help alleviate the pain," said Gretchen Gott, who has EDS. "There are many strategies out there." Also testifying against the bill was a member of New Futures, a nonpartisan advocacy group that is involved in combating opioid abuse. The group told the […]

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