Our Omaha drug charges lawyer blog has covered a whole lot of developments regarding marijuana laws and studies, but the latest is truly one for the books. While anti-cannabis groups would have you believe that there’s no benefit at all to marijuana—even medical marijuana—the latest research indicates that it could actually be the key to ending the nation’s opioid epidemic. Perhaps most importantly, it’s getting serious traction within the medical community.
Medical Marijuana May Lower Opioid Use
“Medical cannabis policies may be one mechanism that can encourage lower prescription opioid use and serve as a harm abatement tool in the opioid crisis,” say researchers associated with the recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The peer-reviewed medical journal is published by the American Medical Association, is one of the most trusted sources amongst medical professionals, and has strict criteria for publication, making this particular publication groundbreaking.
Medicare Recipients Have Fewer Opioid Prescriptions in Pro-Marijuana States
“This study adds one more brick in the wall in the argument that cannabis clearly has medical applications,” reports David Bradford, a lead author of one study. His group examined opioid prescriptions covered by Medicare Part D from 2010 and 2015 and compared states that allow medical marijuana to those that don’t. The states that do allow medical marijuana had more than 2 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed. The group studied was statistically significant because it contains some 42 million Americans aged 65 or older who have opted into the prescription drug plan. “For pain patients in particular,” Bradford says, “our work adds to the argument that cannabis can be effective.”
Opioid Prescriptions are Reduced Among Medicaid Participants Too
Lower opioid use isn’t seen in only seniors, though. Researchers found compelling data amongst Medicaid participants too. This group includes approximately 73 million low-income individuals across the country. Overall, opioid prescriptions dropped 5.88% percent in medical marijuana states versus their anti-MJ counterparts. Although researchers would have a much more difficult time getting similar data from the uninsured or privately insured because the information is proprietary. However, it’s likely the data would show a similar trend if accessible, simply because cannabinoid and opioid receptor systems use the same pathways, which is why medical marijuana can be used as a painkiller too. Moreover, “No one has ever died of cannabis, so it has many safety advantages over opiates,” says Bradford. “And to the extent that we’re trying to manage the opiate crisis, cannabis is a potential tool.”
Speak with an Experienced Omaha Drug Charges Lawyer
Even though research is showing the many benefits of medical marijuana, such as treatment for pain and reduced reliance on opioids, cannabis products remain illegal in the state of Nebraska. While individuals and families in other parts of the country can benefit from them and they are considered valid medical treatments, they can still land Nebraskans, as well as individuals passing through the state with a medication in their possession, behind bars. If you or a loved one is facing legal trouble due to a cannabis-related issue, contact Omaha drug charges lawyer Daniel Stockmann. Mr. Stockmann has helped countless people move past their legal troubles over the years, and you can get a free consultation with him by filling out the form on this page or calling (844) 906-0641.