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Posted: 2020-06-10 21:49:28
  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still seeking public comments on how Americans with chronic pain are successfully treating their symptoms. The deadline to submit comments to the agency is Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

    The agency’s call for comments, initially posted on April 17 at regulations.gov here, states: “Interested persons or organizations are invited to participate by submitting written views, recommendations, and data related to perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management. CDC invites comments specifically on topics focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments.

    The CDC’s interest in alternative methods of chronic pain management is likely to be of particular significance to many medical cannabis patients.

    According to state-registry records, “Chronic pain is currently and historically the most common qualifying condition reported by medical cannabis patients (67.5 percent in 2016).” Furthermore, pain patients enrolled in medical cannabis access programs typically report decreasing or even eliminating their use of opiates after initiating cannabis therapy.

    States the CDC, “Public comment will help CDC’s understanding of stakeholders’ values and preferences regarding pain management and will complement CDC’s ongoing work assessing the need for updating or expanding the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.”

    Public comments “are part of the public record and are subject to public disclosure. Comments will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, do not include any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential, proprietary, or inappropriate for public disclosure. If you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be on public display.”

    Thus far, the agency has received over 3,000 public comments.

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