According to a new study from the University of California, San Diego shows that states that have legalized medical marijuana use have seen an overall decrease of opioid addiction of 23 percent and hospitalizations from opioid overdoes drop 13 percent.
At the same time, hospitalizations for cannabis use did not show an increase in the states which have legalized medical marijuana. This was a primary concern stated by those who are against the legalization of cannabis.
Data from the CDC shows that there were 3 deaths per 100,000 people in the USA due to opioid overdose, that number increased to 9 deaths by 2014 and continues to rise. Amazingly, there are some signs that the opioid epidemic is a uniquely American phenomenon, as research shows that Americans consume 80% of the worlds opioids!
If you are wondering why this is primarily and American problem allow me to explain. Big Pharma has a huge influence on American politics and policy. In fact, all of those stupid drug commercials you see on television are actually outlawed in every other developed nation except for New Zealand. You can imagine that pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets to use for advertising when you consider that pain prescriptions are a $24 billon dollar market!
Oh, and for those who are already hooked on opioids let’s not forget that you can now take a pill to deal with that pesky opioid induced constipation!
I’m not sure how many studies that need to be published before our leaders wake up. The fact is that cannabis can be a big part of a real plan to lessen the use of opioids and it is time for our government and those who are supposed to represent the people to come to terms with reality, cannabis is a solution not a problem.