New Hampshire advocates are lobbying state lawmakers to pass a bill adding Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a painful connective tissue disorder, to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis access, according to a WMUR report. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome affects one in 5,000 people, leaving them in chronic pain and at constant risk of joint dislocation.
Dr. Angela Shepard, who treats chronic conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos, said patients suffering from the condition often have medication sensitivities, noting that awareness of the condition is limited.
“It’s not appropriate always to be relying on opiates,” Shepard said in the report.
State Sen. Dan Feltes, Democrat and sponsor of the bi-partisan legislation, said that patients need access to alternative pain treatment options, such as cannabis, if the state is serious about reducing the number of opioid prescriptions.
“That’s what we’ve recognized here in New Hampshire. We continue to make progress on this,” he said. “It hasn’t gone as fast as some would like, but certainly this condition needs to be put in as a qualifying medical condition in our statute.”
Kim Pang, a Concord resident who suffers from the condition, will testify in front of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in favor of the bill. She said that she’s “in constant pain all day long.”
“It makes it hard to work. It makes it hard to clean my house, do yard work, pretty much do anything,” Pang said. “Everything physical is a real challenge.”