While recent research has shown that cannabis access laws can reduce the use of prescription opioids, the effect of these laws on opioid use is not well understood for all dimensions of use and for the general United States population. Analyzing a dataset of over 1.5 billion individual opioid prescriptions between 2011 and 2018, which were aggregated to the individual provider-year level, we find that recreational and medical cannabis access laws reduce the number of morphine milligram equivalents prescribed each year by 11.8 and 4.2 percent, respectively. These laws also reduce the total days supply of opioids prescribed, the total number of patients receiving opioids, and the probability a provider prescribes any opioids net of any offsetting effects. Additionally, we find consistent evidence that cannabis access laws have different effects across types of providers, physician specialties, and payers.
Now keep this in mind as you consider:
- Potential for addiction and more profits for Big Pharma.
- Why there was so much resistance to legalization in the first place (Lobbying and $$$ from Big Pharma)
- Total absence of the “disastrous consequences” predicted by opponents of legalization.
Tldr; Oxycontin… the real gateway drug.