25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths in states allowing medical marijuana

SCIENCE DAILY reports on a study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, which says that states with legal medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths.  Why is this significant?  There has been a steady rise in prescription drug abuse in Tennessee for the past decade.  This fact has been well-documented.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24589873  Educating the public, plus reform of cannabis laws, will go a long way toward reversing this trend.

Here is a summary of the report: “On average, states allowing the medical use of marijuana have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws. Opioid analgesics, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, are prescribed for moderate to severe pain, and work by suppressing a person’s perception of pain.”

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How is Marijuana Legalization Going in Colorado?

Forbes recently provided an update on what the legalization of marijuana has meant to Colorado. Two takeaways:

1. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper: “…we are going to have a system where we’re actually regulating and taxing something, and keeping that money in the state of Colorado…and we’re not supporting a corrupt system of gangsters.”

2. A study released by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division “notes that the percentages of Coloradans reporting past-month and past-year consumption of marijuana in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) rose between 2002 and 2010, mirroring a national trend. But consumption fell a bit in Colorado after 2010 (after legalization) while continuing to rise in the rest of the country…marijuana use during this period was less common in Colorado than in the country as a whole.”

You can read the whole article from Forbes here.