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New medical studies suggest pot could help solve nation’s opioid crisis

Two new medical studies suggest that marijuana might help curb the opioid epidemic in our country. We hear from an Army vet who says cannabis saved her life when opioids almost destroyed it. (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

Could marijuana help solve the nation’s opioid crisis? Some experts have been preaching the possibility for years but now, two new medical studies are backing up those claims.

When Las Vegas local Cristina Alfonso-Zea left the Army, she found painkillers. The opioid addiction almost cost the military veteran her life.

“It took a really big toll on my body – to the point where I just felt very suicidal for no reason. I just didn’t want to live, my body hurt for days and I felt like I was dying and I was only 25,” said Alfonso-Zea.

It wasn’t until a friend suggested medical marijuana as an option that Alfonso-Zea found new hope.

“That’s what started my healing process. It definitely wasn’t overnight but it was a step in the right direction,” said Alfonso-Zea.

Aflonso-Zea’s story is not unique in Las Vegas. If you talk to enough cannabis users in town, you’ll hear similar stories.

Two new studies published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal suggest that marijuana might help lessen the opioid crisis, specifically in states with legal cannabis programs.

However, some addiction specialists have continually warned that marijuana is still considered a gateway drug.

“When we first opened Solutions Recovery we never saw somebody coming in showing physical addictions to marijuana but now we're doing detoxes,” said David Marlon of Solutions Recovery shortly after marijuana was legalized in Nevada.

President Trump has publicly vowed to end the opioid epidemic.

“The scourge of drug addiction in America wills top,” said Trump at a recent rally.

As for Alfonso-Zea, she is hoping President Trump will see the potential in marijuana in curbing America’s addiction.

“I’m a firm believer that President Trump can weigh that out and see the benefit of it,” said Alfonso-Zea.

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