LEGAL MARIJUANA SAVES LIVES FROM OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS
The opioid epidemic is a really big deal. Lots of people continue to die across the United States from overdoses. Lots of people are legally addicted. But there’s been one very interesting development in the middle of this crisis. There’s that other thing that’s been going on at the state level across the nation. And that’s the legalization of marijuana. According to two recent papers published this past week in JAMA Internal Medicine, there’s at least one positive relationship between the two. The papers did an analysis of over five years of Medicaid and Medicare Part D prescriptions. They found something that’s a great surprise. In states where marijuana was legalized, prescriptions for opioids and their daily doses did a nosedive. Marijuana is saving lives in these states. That’s not an understatement. But it means less money for Big Pharma.
WHEN THEY CAN, PATIENTS LEAVE ADDICTIVE PAINKILLERS FOR POT
So where people have the option, they are moving away from opioids to marijuana. But so far, the studies can’t determine if it’s the market (meaning the patients themselves) or the doctors recommending the switch that is driving the switch. W. David Bradford is an economist at the University of Georgia. He authored one of the two published studies. He said, “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. 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.” He’s literally saying marijuana saves lives. And that states should take matters into their own hands.
2014 STUDY SAW A 25 PERCENT DROP IN OVERDOSES WITH LEGAL POT
But older research also confirms these findings. Back in 2014 a paper made a similar discovery. States with medical marijuana available to consumers had 25% fewer opioid overdoses and deaths. That’s a big number. But these two recent papers prove that this is true with prescription painkillers in the opioid class. And that also means very large numbers making the relationship stronger. But while marijuana is increasingly acceptable and even popular with Americans, the federal government hates it. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, has vowed to prosecute marijuana cases. Way to go, Washington Squares. So glad you are protecting our health.
JEFF SESSIONS WANTS TO LOCK UP BLACK PEOPLE FOR MARIJUANA, PRESERVE BIG PHARMA PROFITS
So doctors think we need more dispensaries. This will save lives from opioid addiction. This will save lives from opioid overdoses. But the current Federal stooge Sessions won’t let the marijuana boogyman go. But then again, people make money selling these prescription painkillers. Pot hurts their profits. And then again again, illegal pot makes it easy to feed prisoners to prisons. Plus, a ton of those inmates tend to be African American. See where this is going? It’s not a pretty picture. And the tension over legalizing pot just continues to grow. Everything has changed. And nothing has changed.