Opiate prescription rates tend to be lower in medical marijuana states
A new Center for Disease Control and Preventions report on opioid prescriptions points to what many have been saying about the medicinal use of marijuana for a while now; that it decreases the need for opiates in pain management.
It appears that states with medical marijuana laws on average had noticeably lower rates of prescriptions for opioid pain relievers than states without medical marijuana, as first noticed by Jon Walker.
Since the CDC data was from 2012 I looked at the 16 states plus D.C. which adopted medical marijuana laws before the beginning of 2012. Of these 17 jurisdictions 12 had below average opioid pain reliever prescription rates.
The only medical marijuana state that was in the top ten for highest rate of opioid pain reliever prescriptions was Michigan at spot number ten. On the other hand five of the top ten states with the lowest rate have medical marijuana laws.
There have been many studies on the issue, and the results point towards two things: cannabis use can either replace opiates such as Hydrocodone or Oxycontin, or be combined with their usage to decrease the dosage needed to combat pain. This leads to less wear and tear and organs which are damaged by prolonged prescription pill use.
While there is no concrete evidence here that this is the case, there is enough for strong speculation, which merits further investigation.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com
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