Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested marijuana and yoga as solutions to America’s opioid crisis. She pushed for more government funding to address the problem, and her suggestions might point the direction in which some of that funding would go.
“It is not just about a number of pills. Doctors say, ‘Don’t tell us how many pills we can prescribe.’ Well maybe we should,” Pelosi declared at a press conference. “Others say there are other ways to relieve stress and relieve pain and that you don’t need opioids in the first place. We are too reliant to transition from them.”
What other ways to relieve stress did the leader of House Democrats think government could pour money into? “Marijuana, yoga, all kinds of other things that are homeopathic but are not addictive in this dangerous way,” Pelosi suggested.
Her remarks came immediately after addressing government funding for the opioid crisis. “Now we fought and we won in the negotiation and we negotiated for a higher opioid number in the Omnibus bill,” Pelosi said, referring to the spending bill Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) called “a Great Dane-size whiz down the leg of every taxpayer.”
Pelosi bragged that her caucus got more money in for the crisis, but said she wanted even more funding. “We wanted a lot more money, but we got $3 billion each year for two years. A good start. Not a great start, but a good start,” she said. “But we need to spend the money well,” she added, right before launching into the discussion of solutions — forcing doctors to prescribe less or pushing marijuana and yoga as alternatives.
“Cannabis can help treat pain, reducing the initial need for opioids,” Sanjay Gupta noted in an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Cannabis is also effective at easing opioid withdrawal symptoms, much like it does for cancer patients, ill from chemotherapy side effects. Finally, and perhaps most important, the compounds found in cannabis can heal the diseased addict’s brain, helping them break the cycle of addiction.”
Marijuana may be an effective alternative, but if so, is $3 million really less than necessary to find such alternatives?
In his book “12 Rules For Life: an Antidote to Chaos,” Canadian professor Jordan Peterson put forth a explanation why many American adults overdose on opioids. He suggested Americans often violate his second rule, “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.”
Pet owners may prove more responsible in caring for their pets than in caring for themselves. Why? Partially because they think they don’t deserve it, but also because they don’t think of themselves as someone they are responsible for helping. This may sound simple, but personal attitudes like this can wreak devastating effect without a person realizing it.
Such an attitude change, along with the first rule, “Stand up straight with your shoulders back,” can make a huge difference in life.
“12 Rules for Life” currently retails for $15.57 on Amazon. Pelosi’s $3 million would fund 192,678 copies of the book, enough for more than half of the American population.
The opioid crisis is a tremendous problem, but Pelosi’s trust in government funding as the solution seems misplaced. In March, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) explained that the federal government has already caused “substantial harm” in the issue.
“There is strong evidence that the government has itself done substantial harm by, among other things, paying for a flood of pain pills through Medicaid and the Medicare prescription drug benefit,” Lee argued. “Before we jump into any other government-funded solution, we should reckon with the damage that this kind of mentality and this kind of programmatic response through our nation’s capital has already caused.”
“When faced with a crisis of this particular magnitude, it is easy to say that maybe the solution could be found in a new raft of government programs,” the senator admitted. “I don’t offer any easy solutions like this today. In a way I wish it were that easy. I wish we could do that. I wish we could push this button to say ‘end this crisis.’ This is too complex and too intricate an issue for knee-jerk responses.”
Perhaps doctors need to prescribe fewer opioids. Perhaps they should consider other options, and marijuana may be a viable option. Perhaps Americans need a change of heart to take care of themselves the way Jordan Peterson suggests. Americans certainly should not just look to government for an easy solution to this deep-seated problem. As Mike Lee pointed out, big government “solutions” often come with problems of their own.