The Sydney Morning Herald’s Health Editor Amy Corderoy:

A large study of people suffering from chronic problems such as back pain, migraine and arthritis has discovered many are turning to cannabis to relieve their symptoms, despite already being prescribed heavy-duty opioid medications such as morphine and oxycodone.

Appreciate that for a second. For all those people claiming marijuana is dangerous and should be banned, the best legal alternatives are opioids. You know, the ones from the same family as that infamous drug that killed millions.

But they’re legal, so it’s okay, right?

Millions of Australians suffer from chronic pain – a problem set to increase as the population ages. Yet there are few effective and safe long-term treatments, and accidental overdose deaths from prescribed pain drugs are now more common than deaths from heroin.

For most of my childhood, my mum Debra was on some form of chemotherapy. It ruined her appetite, which caused her all manner of mental and physical health problems. She wasn’t alone; and treatment for those side effects and pain is available.

The good news is we may slowly be winning. The Premier of New South Wales, the Australian state where I live, is open to the idea of the government growing it and allowing for limited medical use. Other states are also wising up.

Let’s keep making progress.