Medical marijuana does not reduce opioid deaths | News Center

June 11th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »

Legalizing medical marijuana does not reduce the rate of fatal opioid overdoses, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

The finding contradicts a 2014 study that legal-pot advocates, public officials and even physicians have touted as a reason to legalize marijuana. That study found lower rates of fatal opioid overdoses in the states that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes than in states where marijuana remained illegal.

The Stanford study, which revisited the issue after many more states had legalized medical marijuana, found no evidence of a connection between opioid deaths and the availability of medical cannabis, said Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. 

“If you think opening a bunch of dispensaries is going to reduce opioid deaths, you’ll be disappointed,” Humphreys said. “We don’t think cannabis is killing people, but we don’t think it’s saving people.”

A paper describing the new study was published online June 10 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Humphreys is the senior author. The lead author is postdoctoral scholar Chelsea Shover, PhD.

Medical pot now legal in 47 states

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. By 2010, 13 states, most of them in the West, had legalized medical marijuana. Today, 47 states permit some version of medical pot.

For the new study, the Stanford researchers used the same method employed in the 2014 study to evaluate the connection between legalized medical marijuana and fatal opioid overdoses. They confirmed the findings from the 2014 study, but when they

Article source: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/06/medical-marijuana-does-not-reduce-opioid-deaths.html

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