Why Elizabeth Warren thinks legalizing marijuana could help end America's opioid addiction crisis
Published on 2/12/16
This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the CDC asking that marijuana be considered as an alternative to the prescription pain killers that are causing an addiction epidemic, but not everyone may understand why. An article by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 79 studies found patients had a 30% or greater improvement in pain using cannabis compared to the placebo. Last year a Canadian study found no evidence of serious side effects even after years of use. Recent research shows 80% of medical marijuana users chose pot over pain killers, and 52% drank less alcohol while consuming cannabis. Ontop of the effectiveness and pure preference of marijuana, in only a few years we've found that states with medical marijuana laws have already dropped opioid overdose deaths by 24.8% saving almost 1,700 lives.
If the CDC decides to look into Sen. Warren's request, it won't take long at all to see the benefit of medical cannabis.
“The high rate of substitution for prescribed substances, particularly among patients with pain-related conditions, suggests that further research into cannabis/cannabinoids as a potentially safer substitute for or adjunct to opiates is justified,” the researchers concluded.
In 2014, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical marijuana laws saw a 24.8 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths, compared with states without such laws. That worked out to about 1,700 fewer deaths in 2010 alone.