Is medicinal marijuana reducing opioid abuse?

RESEARCHERS examined death certificate data over the decade ending 2010, finding a 25% lower average annual opioid fatality rate in the 10 states that legislated for medical cannabis programs compared to states without the new laws.

Although a causal link could not be proved, these states did not have different overdose mortality rates in years prior to the law changes and the change was not linked to broader improvements in health, the researchers said.

An accompanying commentary said the potential protective effect of medicinal cannabis against opioid analgesic-associated deaths was a “fruitful area for