New research published this week corroborates limited research of the past in that states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis have seen significant drops in opioid prescriptions and overdoses. Whichever side of the fence you're on about legalizing cannabis everyone can agree that the rising toll that opioids are taking on Americans needs a solution, and now a possible solution is available and should not be ignored. The research shows that states with medical marijuana programs saw a significant decrease in opioid prescriptionsa and those with recreational programs saw an even bigger decrease. The same is true for states with active and available dispensaries having larger decreases in opioids than those without dispensaries. Though some lawmakers like Attorney General Sessions continues on his harmful quest to destroy legal cannabis, it's important that these new studies not be ignored and we use every tool possible to fight the opioid epidemic.
“In this time when we are so concerned—rightly so—about opiate misuse and abuse and the mortality that’s occurring, we need to be clear-eyed and use evidence to drive our policies,” said W. David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia and an author of one of the studies. “If you’re interested in giving people options for pain management that don’t bring the particular risks that opiates do, states should contemplate turning on dispensary-based cannabis policies.”