“Medical cannabis policies may be one mechanism that can encourage lower prescription opioid use and serve as a harm abatement tool in the opioid crisis,” the medical journal JAMA concluded.
The study found that Medicare prescriptions for opioids fell in states that implemented a medical marijuana program. The numbers fell further, by as much as 14 percent, when states allowed for medical cannabis dispensaries.
While there’s a correlation between the two, the study’s authors caution that they did not determine causation, meaning there could have been other factors at play. And they cautioned against the idea that relaxed pot laws alone can solve the opioid crisis.
“Like any drug in our FDA-approved pharmacopeia, it can be misused,” W. David Bradford, a study author and a professor of public policy at the University of Georgia, told National Public Radio. “There’s no question about it. So I hope nobody reading our study will say ‘Oh,