Can Texas combat opioid crisis with medical marijuana?

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Can the the opioid crisis be dealt with head on if there’s expanded medical marijuana use? That’s the topic of a SXSW panel in Austin Tuesday, exploring what that would look like, and whether it would be effective here in Texas.

Opioid use is a big talker right now, in the light of a recent uptick in overdoses in Austin. Officials have warned this impacts the entire state as they haven’t pinpointed where the drugs are coming from.

Texas lawmakers are currently researching the impact of fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths in the state, looking into ways to best deal with opioid abuse.

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The SXSW “Cannabis vs. opioid crisis” panel discussion will dive into research toying with the idea that expanding medical use of marijuana would allow it to be substituted for prescribed opioids for chronic pain management.

KXAN’s Capitol Correspondent Jala Washington will dive deeper into what would prevent Texas from expanding medical marijuana for pain use. This story will be updated after the newscast.

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