Chronic pain is a fact of life for millions of Americans. Though a host of pharmaceutical options exist for treating pain, there is a population whose near-constant suffering cannot be eased by readily available methods. This malady is common enough that it has even been given its own medical acronym: IP, for intractable pain.
Some people believe that medical cannabis may provide pain relief for people with IP. In states like Minnesota that have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes, advocates have campaigned to get intractable pain added to the list of conditions that a physician can certify for access to legal medical marijuana.
In December, Minnesota Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger, M.D., added intractable pain to the list of nine qualifying conditions already allowed in the state’s medical cannabis program.
While some patients’ groups cheered the decision, Minnesota Medical Association