In states where medical marijuana is legal, pharmaceutical painkiller deaths have dropped by as much as 25%. Prescription drug deaths have been a major problem in the U.S. and now with a suitable safe replacement for treating pain they are slowly declining.
The difference is noticeable. Since 1991, the amount of deaths due to pharmaceutical opioids has approximately tripled. However, in the 13 states that legalized medical marijuana 25% fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually. In the August issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, the “researchers hypothesize that in states where medical marijuana can be prescribed, patients may use pot to treat pain, either instead of prescription opiates, or to supplement them—and may thus require a lower dosage that is less likely to lead to a fatal problem.”
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