Vermonters With Chronic Pain Are Now Eligible For Medical Marijuana
Attempts to legalize cannabis in Vermont fell short in the Statehouse this year. But lawmakers still managed to pass reforms to the state’s drug laws, and policy makers hope an expansion of the medical marijuana registry will help combat Vermont’s opiate addiction problem.
Adam Worch was 25 when he suddenly and inexplicably lost vision in one eye. A subsequent trip to the doctor’s office led to a grim diagnosis.
“He’s like, there’s two things I think you may have to go blind suddenly: You either have a brain tumor that’s pushing on your optic nerve, or something called multiple sclerosis,” Worch says.
That was 12 years ago, and Worch, a U.S. Army veteran who moved to Montpelier in January, has since learned to cope with the sometimes debilitating effects of his MS.
He credits one treatment above all for his success.
“And what was amazing was the cannabis, 95 percent of the pains I would get disappeared,” Worch says. “It helped the pain a lot more than the narcotic pain medication that they would give me.”
Some Vermont doctors now hope cannabis can do for chronic-pain sufferers what it’s done for many people with MS. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law earlier this month a bill that adds chronic pain to the list of conditions that make residents eligible for the state’s medical cannabis registry.
Shumlin says the move could aid the state’s fight in one of its biggest public safety battles.