Marijuana legalization is saving lives
Medical Marijuana legalization in Colorado led to a reversal of opiate overdose deaths, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health. “After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following 2 years,” states the authors. The authors stress that their results are preliminary, given that their study encompasses only two years of data after the state’s first marijuana shops opened.
Marijuana is often highly effective at treating the same types of chronic pain that patients are often prescribed opiates for. Given the choice between marijuana and opiates, many patients appear to be opting for medical marijuana. The effects of cannabis included merriment, happiness, enhanced sensory perception, increased appreciation of music, art and touch, and heightened imagination. Most importantly, cannabis relieves pain.
Although opioids were an important part of managing pain, nearly 100 people are dying a day due to abusive opioid usage, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marijuana as the safer option
Even the DEA will agree that compared to opiates, marijuana carries essentially zero risk of fatal overdose. “No deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported,” the DEA wrote in 2017. The fact that there are no reported deaths due to cannabis overdose means that marijuana is demonstrably safer than any other prescribed pain reliever. Cannabis connoisseurs have been saying for years that marijuana is a safer recreational substance than alcohol. Now we can use the DEA to back up our argument.
Authors of the American Journal of Public Health examined trends in monthly opiate overdose fatalities in Colorado before and after the state’s marijuana market opened. They also attempted a change in Colorado’s prescription-drug-monitoring program that happened during the study period. That change required all opioid prescribers to register with, but not necessarily use, the program in 2014.
Overall, after controlling for both medical marijuana and the prescription-drug-monitoring change, the study found that after Colorado implemented its recreational marijuana law, opioid deaths fell by 6.5 percent in the following two years. The study adds more evidence to the body of research suggesting that increasing marijuana availability could help reduce the toll of America’s opiate epidemic, which claims tens of thousands of lives each year.
Hope for the future of cannabis
Studies on the effectiveness of cannabis for pain relief have made great strides in the last few years to prove what most of us already know. However, marijuana remains off the FDA approval list. State approval has been based on low-quality scientific evidence. Marijuana “is a complex of more than 400 compounds including flavonoids and terpenoids and approximately 70 cannabinoids other than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),” researches wrote, stating that cannabis research isn’t comparable to other FDA-approved drugs, which contain one or two active ingredients. In time, science will reveal the truth, and evidence will show that cannabis is not only saving lives, but enriching them as well.
While we wait for FDA approval and legislation to turn around, medical marijuana is available for those searching for relief. Grant Pharms was founded by patients suffering from chronic pain. We understand the debilitating nature of chronic pain and are here to offer compassion and knowledge in order to provide you relief.