Yet another study suggests cannabis is not the “gateway drug” that the Nancy Reagans of the world would have you believe. In fact, it may actually discourage its consumers from using "harder" drugs. 

Researchers at the University of New Mexico studied 125 chronic pain patients over the course of five years; 83 of which were taking cannabis as a prescriptive pain mediator and 42 of which abstained.

The researchers found that 34 percent of the cannabis users stopped taking their medication compared to just two percent of the non-consumers.

"Our current opioid epidemic is the leading preventable form of death in the US – killing more people than car accidents and gun violence," said lead author and psychology professor Jacob Miguel Vigil.

"Therefore, the relative safety and efficacy of using cannabis in comparison to that of other scheduled medications should be taken by the health providers and legislators.”

Vigil added that painkillers and street heroin kill roughly 90 people in the United States every day, while research indicates that cannabis consumption has never directly resulted in a single death.

h/t The Independent