A Senator from Utah has introduced a bill that would encourage first time research into the medical benefits of cannabis as an alternative to prescription opioids. The red tape, federal cooperation, and paperwork it takes to research cannabis turns away many interested parties, however this bill could streamline the process to help prove what statistics and anecdotal evidence have already decided. States with medical marijuana laws have shown a 24.8% drop in annual opioid overdoses compared to states without medical marijuana. Kansas has one of the worst opioid problems in the country with a recent year prescribing 4.2 million scripts making up 256 million pills. These prescription pain killers have a high potential for abuse and addiction and the availability of medical marijuana has shown to decrease the use and dangers associated with these killer medications.
Medical marijuana’s impact on opioids is known anecdotally. States that have legalized medical marijuana enjoy significantly lower levels of opioid consumption and overdose deaths, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
They had a 24.8 percent lower annual overdose death rate compared to other states, it reported.
University of California researchers found hospitalization rates of people suffering painkiller abuse dropped 23 percent when medical marijuana was legalized there.