Legal marijuana tied to drop in opioid prescriptions
Opioid prescriptions may decline when states legalize marijuana, two U.S. studies suggest. One study focused on older adults with Medicare drug benefits. In each state, in an average year, physicians prescribed 23 million daily doses of opioids. Compared to states where cannabis was banned, states where medical marijuana was legal averaged 3.7 million fewer opioid doses annually, while states that permitted only home cultivation of marijuana had 1.8 million fewer doses. A separate study of adults insured by Medicaid found medical marijuana laws associated with an almost 6 percent decline in opioid prescriptions.
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