The subject of legalizing marijuana has been quite controversial as of late due to policymakers fighting for it as a medical replacement for prescription pain pills. There has long been a need for change in order to reduce injury and death from a prescription opioid overdose, and now according to researchers, we may have found one. The Department of Veteran Affairs found that in states where medical marijuana was legal, death from opioid overdose was up to 24.8% lower than in states where it was criminalized. It was also said that in states where medicinal marijuana had been legal for longer periods, the difference was even more substantial. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors of the study acknowledge that there are many factors in the study that were hard to measure such as race, socio-economic status, health behaviors and more. Dr. Marcus A. Bachhuber, the lead author in the study, states that he would not recommend the wide adoption of medicinal marijuana based on this study, but notes that there may be unexpected benefits to its legalization.
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