Legalizing medical marijuana does not reduce the rate of fatal opioid
overdoses, according to researchers at the Stanford University School
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 will be published online in