Legalized marijuana has created a robust new industry for entrepreneurs, jobs in the states where it is legal and huge chunks of tax revenue for local governments.
Now, a new study in Colorado has found that marijuana may also play a role in cutting down the number of deaths from opioid overdose.
That information flies in the face of rhetoric from marijuana opponents, including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who called the effects of marijuana “only slightly less awful” than that of heroin.
Opioid-related deaths from both heroin and prescription opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Marijuana has not led to one officially recorded overdose. And the study indicates it may actually have a hand in preventing them.
The conclusion of the study, published this month
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