Author Eric Bolling on Friday applauded Illinois state legislators for voting to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, telling Newsmax TV that "if this is an option, I'm all ears — and I hope it works."
"Throughout my career, I've been pro-legalized marijuana," Bolling, whose son died from an opioid overdose last September, told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman. "I think we can't win that war.
"I'm not looking to make marijuana illegal, nor am I looking to make opioids illegal."
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The Illinois Senate voted 44-6 on Thursday to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids.
Those addicted to opioids would also be eligible to apply for a medical card to use marijuana.
Illinois has one of the more restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has endorsed the option.
President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in October — and Bolling attended the White House summit on the issue last month.
More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bolling's son, Eric Chase Bolling, 19, was found dead Sept. 8 at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he studied economics. The cause was later determined to be an opioid overdose.
On Sunday, Bolling will kick off a national "Race to Erase Opioids" campaign with NASCAR team owner Rick Ware and stock-car driver Kevin O’Connell.
The event will occur during the Sunday Geico 500 NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
"A lot of people contact me and say: 'I got hooked on these things after surgery or industry — and I wish I could have done something else,'" he told Bachman.
"If this is an option, I'm all ears — and I hope it works.
"Honestly," Bolling added, "we're in stage one — the first inning — of this fight against opioid overdose deaths.
"We've gotta try everything."
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