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A fascinating study in Health Affairs last year by a father-daughter pair of public policy researchers found that Medicare prescriptions for things like painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications dropped sharply in states that introduced a medical marijuana program.
The implication? Offered the choice between taking medication prescribed by a doctor and self-medicating with pot, many older patients opted for the latter.
But the study left one big question unanswered: Since the study's authors — the University of Georgia's Ashley Bradford and W. David Bradford — only looked at Medicare data, they couldn't say for sure whether the findings held for younger patients too.
Now, we're getting more answers. This week, the Bradfords are back with a new study applying the same analysis to prescriptions under Medicaid, which covers low-income people of all ages. The results largely validate their previous work: Medicaid prescriptions for certain drugs fell significantly in states that adopted a medical marijuana law.
Specifically, anti-nausea drug prescriptions fell by 17 percent. Antidepressant prescriptions fell 13 percent, while prescriptions for seizure and psychosis drugs fell 12 percent.
Not everyone who has access to medical marijuana opts for it, obviously. But enough do to make a significant dent in the prescription numbers. “Patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine,” the Bradfords conclude.
Perhaps most significantly from a public health standpoint, prescriptions for painkillers fell by 11 percent. Opiate painkillers are behind much of the current drug overdose epidemic.
originally posted by: Chadwickus
a reply to: Krazysh0t
Definitely make medicinal marijuana legal.
It might make the recreational smokers shut up about how they smoke pot all the time..
originally posted by: Krazysh0t
MEANWHILE, our current AG wants to take us back to the 1980's with "Just Say No!" and the Trump administration in general is about to crack down on drug laws across the board. Seriously, of ALL the government precedents, why is THIS precedent the one he doesn't mind keeping intact?
But then again...
Will Jeff Sessions launch a War on Weed? If so, it could accelerate marijuana legalization.
...Sessions has made clear that he still believes that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”