Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Few Opioid Deaths, But Only in States With Dispensaries

A new study conducted by the RAND Corporation and published by the Journal of Health Economics has found that although medical marijuana legalization is associated with a decrease in opioid deaths, this is only true in states that have legalized dispensaries.

“The association between medical marijuana and lower levels of opioid overdose deaths — identified previously in several studies — is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve”, says the Rand Corporation, whose new study is “the most-detailed examination of medical marijuana and opioid deaths conducted to date”.

The report found that “legalizing medical marijuana was associated with lower levels of opioid deaths only in states that had provisions for dispensaries that made medical marijuana easily available to patients.” Opioid death rates were not lower in states that just provided legal protections to patients and caregivers, allowing them to grow their own marijuana.

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Senate Elizabeth Warren Asks CDC to Consider Cannabis for Dealing with Painkiller Epidemic

cdc
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking them to consider and study the positive role cannabis could have in dealing with the nation’s painkiller epidemic.

In the letter addressed to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, Warren asks for more oversight of physicians that are so readily prescribing large amounts of opioid painkillers, and to get serious about allowing those with chronic pain to explorie alternative treatment options, such as cannabis.

Warren also asks the CDC to study the “effectiveness of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment in states where it is legal,” in addition to exploring “the impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths.”

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Study: Legal Access to Medical Cannabis Associated With Reduced Opioid Addiction and Deaths

cannatubeStates that have legalized medical cannabis dispensaries have a lower rate of opioid addictions and overdose deaths, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

For the study, researchers at the RAND Corporation and the University of California assessed the impact of medical cannabis laws on opioid abuse. They did this by measuring treatment admissions for opioid pain reliever addiction, and by assessing state-level opioid overdose deaths (between the years of 1999 and 2013).

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New Study: Over One Trillion Dollars Spent on Illegal Drugs Between 2000 and 2010 in U.S.

A new study conducted by the RAND Corporation has found that in recent years cocaine use has dropped substantially, while cannabis use has risen. According to theStack Of Cash data, drug users in the United States spend over $100 billion annually on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

“This work synthesizes information from many sources to present the best estimates to date for illicit drug consumption and spending in the United States”, says Beau Kilmer, the study’s lead author and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. “Our analysis shows that Americans likely spent more than one trillion dollars on cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine between 2000 and 2010.”

Read moreNew Study: Over One Trillion Dollars Spent on Illegal Drugs Between 2000 and 2010 in U.S.