New Findings Raise Doubts Whether Legal Weed Reduces Opioid Deaths

This story originally appeared on Benzinga

study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy is pushing back on the line of thinking that medical marijuana could lower the number of opioid overdoses.

The findings.

States with medical marijuana laws showed slower increases in opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2010, but that’s no longer the case, according to the study. “For end dates between 2008 and 2012, the association was negative … subsequently, the association became statistically indistinguishable from zero before turning positive in 2017.”

The association between state medical cannabis laws and opioid overdoses has reversed direction from negative 21 percent to positive 23 percent and remained positive after factoring in recreational cannabis laws, the study’s authors said. “We find it unlikely that medical cannabis — used by about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population — has exerted large conflicting effects on opioid overdose mortality.

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