This is actually one of the better researched pieces we’ve seen on the subject
Here’s their introduction
When Shoemaker does take on a patient with a painkiller dependency, she uses every tool at her disposal to try to get them off the pills completely—and that’s the best-case scenario. If she can’t do that, she’ll at least try to ease them down to the smallest possible dose. Her protocol goes like this: “We start with non-controlled medicines, physical therapy; we use imaging to confirm what’s really causing the problem, then we move to less controlled medicines,” she explains. But there’s one tool she wishes she could use: marijuana, either medical or recreational.
“I have some patients I would absolutely prescribe it for. When I was working in Atlanta, we had a cancer patient that we gave Marinol (a man-made, medical marijuana drug) to and you could see it working. You would see a big difference very quickly; it really improved their quality of life,” she says. (The US Food and Drug Administration approved Marinol in 1985.)
But in Tennessee, marijuana is illegal in all applications. Earlier this year, a medical marijuana bill lasted only a few weeks before being withdrawn in late March. And legalizing the stuff outright? Forget about it.
Meanwhile, opioid manufacturers continue to pour money into state legislators’ coffers. An investigation by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that, over the past decade, drug companies threw $1.6 million at Tennessee elected officials, who repeatedly voted against limits on opioid prescriptions even as overdose deaths spiked in their hometowns.