More and more Americans are turning to marijuana to treat their health problems. However, if you think legalizing weeds for medical purposes reduces the number of opioid-related deaths in the United States, think again.
Lawmakers and marijuana advocates have argued that legalizing weeds to combat chronic opioid addiction can help reduce opioid dependence. However, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine say there is no association between medical cannabis and opioid overdoses.
"If you think opening a number of pharmacies will reduce the number of opioid deaths, you'll be disappointed," said lead author Dr. Ing. Keith Humphreys, in a statement. "We do not believe that cannabis kills humans, but we do not believe it saves humans."
Opioids are used to treat moderate to severe pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people die every day from an overdose of opioids in the United States, including approximately 47,000. The opioid epidemic has led to recommending marijuana as an alternative treatment. Chronic pain is the most common illness that causes people to use marijuana for medical purposes.
Stanford study challenges a 2014 study by the University of Pennsylvania, which found that in states where marijuana for medical purposes was legalized, there was an average of 25% fewer opioid-related deaths per year. Only 13 states had legalized marijuana for medical purposes when the study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. She examined the opioid overdose mortality rate between 1999 and 2010.
Stanford researchers examined CDC data on overdose deaths from 1999 to 2017. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania also used CDC data for their study.
Stanford researchers found that the number of opioid-related deaths in states with medical marijuana declined from 1999 to 2010. However, when they analyzed overdose mortality rates until 2017 – when many other states had already legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes – they found that in states with legal medicinal weeds, Opioid deaths were actually higher.
From 1999 to 2017, in states where marijuana for medical purposes was legal, the number of opioid-related deaths increased by 22.7%.
Currently, 33 states and Washington, DC, have fully legalized cannabis for medical purposes, while another 13 states have allowed the restricted use of marijuana for medical purposes.
"We find it unlikely that medicinal cannabis – consumed by approximately 2.5% of the US population – has major contradictory effects on overdose mortality," wrote the study's authors.
Stanford researchers said that after the publication of the Penn study, marijuana users, lawyers and even doctors used these results to argue for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. The idea that using marijuana to treat pain can reduce opioid dependence has policy implications for some countries.
States like New York and Illinois have implemented Opioidsatzrichtlinien which allows patients who have been prescribed opioids to replace their prescriptions with marijuana for medical purposes. Colorado doctors may also prescribe marijuana for medical purposes instead of opioids to treat the same problems.
"Opioids can become very addictive in no time," according to the website of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "This program offers qualified people an alternative to treating their pain and its long-term goal is to reduce the number of deaths from opioids."
Humphreys said the results do not concern "cannabis". He added that lower mortality rates for opioids in the early days of legalization are likely due to the specific policies and conditions of these countries. States that have legalized medical marijuana at an early stage are more prosperous and have better access to treatments such as naloxone, a vital drug for the treatment of opioid overdoses.
Humphreys also said that these states are imprisoning fewer people for drug use – which means there is less risk that a prisoner will get out of prison and refrain from opioids because his body is not used to it. to drugs during his sentence.
Despite the inability of marijuana to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths, the study authors stated that the drug still offers benefits.
"There are good reasons to pursue a policy on medical cannabis, but none of them seem to be," said the lead author of the study. Chelsea Shover, in a statement. She added that researchers and politicians should look for other ways to fight the opioid epidemic.
Here’s what you need to know before seeing your regional medical dispensary:You will require a doctor’s recommendation, medical cannabis certification, and/or whatever appropriate documentation is required by your state. Typically, you need to be 18 or older to qualify for a medical authorization, but exceptions could be made in some conditions for minors with particularly debilitating problems. You will usually register with a medicinal dispensary. This is to maintain your medical cannabis recommendation or certificate on file for regulatory and legal purposes. There will be a waiting room. This is to control the circulation of patients and product, but a straightforward dividing wall also gives patients privacy and direct one-on-one contact with a budtender to candidly discuss medical problems. This process can help budtenders and patients track effective medicine as well as possess a living record of manufacturers and products for future reference and follow-up. Medicinal dispensaries usually allow you to smell and analyze the buds before purchase. This may vary from state-to-state.
DOES AN APPLICANT NEED MUNICIPAL APPROVAL BEFORE RECEIVING A RETAIL CANNABIS LICENSE? Yes, municipal approval is required before the AGLC will subject a retail cannabis license. Applicants must get in touch with their planned municipality to learn requirements regarding municipal retail cannabis laws, zoning requirements, land-use restrictions, and place requirements regarding how close a retail shop can be into a provincial health care centre, college, or parcel of property designated as a school book.
Keep non-medical cannabis legal Adults who are 19 years or older are in a position to:Possess up to 30 gram of authorized dried cannabis or the equivalent in their own person. Share up to 30 gram of legal cannabis with other adults in Canada. Buy cannabis products from a Yukon Liquor Corporation licensed merchant. Grow up to four plants per family. It is illegal to provide non-medical cannabis to anyone under the age of 19 and for anyone below the age of 19 to have any amount of anti inflammatory cannabis in Yukon.It is illegal and dangerous to drive while under the influence of cannabis or other intoxicants.