Toma Giuffre has binders full of newspaper clippings, personally annotated doctor’s notes, letters from lawmakers — all pieces of a puzzle she’s been trying to solve for decades: How to make the pain go away.

For the last year, Giuffre, 74, has been collecting every published scrap of information on medical cannabis she can find, underlining the articles in different colors as she’s studied them time and again. When the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Bethlehem in January, she went to Keystone Canna Remedies’ informational sessions on every topic.

“I researched this marijuana like I was paid by the hour,” she said.

Like millions of Americans, Giuffre takes opioids such as Vicodin and morphine to reduce her chronic pain. And until recently, she had a prescription for fentanyl, the powerful opioid responsible for a surge in overdose deaths across the country.

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