Legal marijuana is saving lives from opioid abuse, new studies find

Legal access to marijuana is helping people use less prescription opioids, according to two studies published Monday by the American Medical Association.

In a study conducted by authors Ashley C. Bradford, W. David Bradford and Amanda Abraham of the University of Georgia, researchers examamined data from Medicare, which primarily covers patients over the age of 65.

They found a 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in states with legal marijuana programs. Opiate prescriptions also dropped by 6.9 percent in states that allow adults to grow their own plants.

“These findings further strengthen arguments in favor of considering medical applications of cannabis as one tool in the policy arsenal that can be used to diminish the harm of prescription opioids,” the authors wrote.

Another study conducted by lead author Hefei Wen of the University of Kentucky and Jason M. Hockenberry of Emory University reached similar conclusions. Their research observed a reduction in Medicaid opiate prescription rates of over 5 percent in states with medical marijuana laws, while a drop of 6.38 percent was found in states that allow…

Continue reading at Smell the Truth

About Smell the Truth