Legalization of medical marijuana beneficial for cancer patients

Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a reduction in opioid dispensing and pain-related hospital events among adults receiving treatment for newly diagnosed cancers, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in JAMA Oncology.

Yuhua Bao, Ph.D., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using 2012 to 2017 national commercial claims data and a difference-in-differences design to examine the association between medical marijuana legalization that took effect between 2012 and 2017 and opioid-related and pain-related outcomes for patients receiving cancer treatment.

Data were included for 38,189 patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer (100 percent women); 12,816 with colorectal cancer (55.4 percent men); and 7,190 with lung cancer (51.1 percent women).

The researchers found that medical marijuana legalization was associated with a reduction in the rate of one or more opioid days among patients with breast…

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