Medical marijuana does not lower opioid overdose death rates, study findsPosted by On


Legalizing medical marijuana does not lower the rate of deadly opioid overdoses, according to a study released Monday.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may serve as a blow to those in the cannabis industry, and even doctors, who hoped that laws in favor of medical marijuana might bring down the ever-rising rates of people dying from overdosing on heroin or other opioids.

The intriguing promise of legal medical cannabis lowering opioid overdose rates was based in part on a 2014 study that showed that states that had passed medical marijuana laws by 2010 had about a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than states that did not allow medical marijuana.

“It would be wonderful if it worked, but it doesn’t seem like it does,” said the new study’s lead author, Chelsea Shover, apostdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University.

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