Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently unveiled his plan to address the Mile High City’s opioid epidemic, but failed to acknowledge the role marijuana can play in combating prescription drug abuse. Several observational studies have established a correlation between the enactment of medical marijuana laws and a reduction in opioid-related use, drug spending, abuse, hospitalization, and mortality.
“Governor Christie has 0% credibility on drug policy, or any other policy, for that matter. When it comes to cannabis’ relationship to opioids from real-world experience, not bluster and rhetoric, states that have medicinal and recreational cannabis laws on the books see lower rates of overdose, lower rates of use, and lower rates of opioids being prescribed to patients.”
The enactment of medicinal marijuana laws is associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to data published online today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers reported, “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws. … Although the exact mechanism is unclear, our results suggest a link between medical cannabis laws and lower opioid analgesic overdose mortality.”