Opiate deaths reduce by 25% where medical cannabis is legal
Nearly two million Americans are addicted to or abusing opiate-based prescription drugs
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that deaths from overdose due to the use of prescription drugs containing opiates have been reduced by 25% in US states where medical use of marijuana has been legalized.
This could be great news in a country that in 2014 saw more than 18,000 people die from the consumption of these legal products (more than 28,000 adding all opiate deaths) and since 1999 has multiplied by four the recipes of products with opiates. These numbers are pointing to the presence of a silent but deadly epidemic that is alarming country’s medical authorities.
Opiates are usually being prescribed as analgesics to reduce the pain associated with many health problems, a solution that in many cases could be replaced by products derived from cannabis, less addictive and harmful to the body.
60% of Americans currently live in all 28 states and Washington DC, where medical marijuana is legal under state law. Despite that, a 1970 federal law puts cannabis in the same category as heroin and current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues his prohibitionist crusade, arguing that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin.
Federal prohibition also has led to severe limitations on marijuana research. Nonetheless, a National Academies report published last January found conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis can effectively treat chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and spasticity.