Study: Medical Marijuana Access Reduces Painkiller Abuse

Specifically, they found that overdose deaths from opioids decreased by an average of 20 percent one year after the law’s implementation, 25 percent after two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six…

A separate study published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank, shows that the JAMA data is not anomalous. Researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of California, Irvine assessed the impact of medical marijuana laws on problematic opioid use, as measured by treatment admissions for opioid pain reliever addiction and by state-level opioid overdose deaths.

“[S]tates permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not,” they reported.

Researchers found that women over the age of 40 showed the most significant decrease in problematic opioid use…

The notion that chronic pain patients will choose pot over opiate pain relievers is hardly surprising. According to a series of clinical trials overseen by the University of California, San Diego, the inhalation of whole-plant cannabis is safe and efficacious in the treatment of various types of neuropathy—a type of pain that is poorly managed by opiates. Moreover, clinical data published in 2011 in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics showed that cannabis administration significantly augments the analgesic effects of opiates in patients with chronic pain…

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