Brand New Study Finds Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid Use

Many studies have shown that states with legalized medical marijuana have lower rates of opioid abuse, and a new study is confirming those previous reports.

A study conducted by the University of California San Diego and Weill Cornell Medical College found that states with legalized medical marijuana had significantly lower rates of opioid abuse. According to the study, states that implemented medical marijuana laws between 1993 and 2014 had 30 percent less opioids received by people enrolled in Medicaid. The researchers also estimated that by allowing medical marijuana, the federal government saved $7.46 million that would've been spent on opioid prescriptions for those Medicaid patients. 

This study said that medical marijuana led to a reduction in specifically Schedule III opioids, such as codeine. While the study said other research has found that marijuana can be an effective alternative to Schedule II opioids, which are more dangerous, they also said it wasn't quite as effective at treating severe pain and therefore people on Schedule II opioids were less likely to switch to cannabis.

These results are consistent with several other studies showing states with medical or recreational marijuana have less opioid abuse and overdoses than states that do not. And yet, the Trump administration refuses to consider using marijuana as a possible alternative for America's opioid crisis.

Maybe if we keep pumping out studies, they'll eventually listen.

(h/t Forbes)


Many are waiting for the next state to make the major step of legalizing recreational marijuana, and according to one state senator, the state to watch is New Mexico. New Mexico State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino says he believes a bill he recently introduced to legalize recreational marijuana will pass in the near future. A similar bill was introduced last year in the New Mexico state house, but it failed to get enough support.

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