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Thursday, 21 July 2016

The government ignores the truth: Opioid use plummets in states with legal cannabis

Justin Gardner
The Free Thought Project

Yesterday we reported how Congress' "opioid bill," or Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA), was a hollow achievement, as it ignored medical cannabis alternatives and said nothing about the role of Big Pharma in the opioid abuse epidemic.

Among the information missing from the conversation was an eye-opening study done last year. A JAMA Internal Medicine study looked at ten years of data in all 50 states, concluding that states with medical cannabis laws had significantly lower rates of opioid overdose mortality.

There is no indication this important fact was heard when a federal "pain panel" advised Congress. The FDA, one of several agencies on the panel, had already been exposed as being stacked with members linked to drugmakers, including one caught up in an OxyContin scandal.  

The JAMA study was presented in a recent Congressional panel on pain management. Despite the clear evidence of real-world results, prohibitionists rejected an amendment to study the "potential for marijuana to serve as an alternative to opioids for pain management."

Now, a second study has confirmed the powerful effect that medical cannabis has on reducing opioid abuse.

In 17 states with medical cannabis laws in place by 2013, the researchers "found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented."

Prescriptions fell dramatically for opioid painkillers, with 1,826 fewer doses being prescribed per year by the typical physician in a medical cannabis state. Amazingly, the trend also applied to prescriptions for depression, seizure, nausea and anxiety

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