WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, May 7 @ 10 a.m.

Weed Feed: Medical Cannabis Laws Connected to 'Significant' Reduction in Prescription Opioid Use, New Study Finds

Prescription opioids. Photo by K-State Research and Extension.

Patients are less likely to use prescription opioids in states with medical marijuana laws, a new study finds.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, Medicare Part D prescriptions for all opioids decreased by about 1.8 million daily doses per year in states with in-home medical cannabis cultivation laws, and by 3.7 million daily doses per year in states with cannabis dispensaries.

“Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing,” the study concluded. “This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions.”

The study comes as America finds itself in the midst of what many are calling an “opioid crisis.”

CNN reports that 115 American die of opioid overdoses every day, and that 2.5 million Americans are addicted to the drug. Opioid-related deaths have reportedly increased by 15.6 percent from 2014 to 2015, and by almost 320 percent between 2000 and 2015.

Trump discuses America’s “opioid crisis” in August of last year.


The Weed Feed is a weekly column written by John Ross Ferrara.

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