A study has found that prescriptions for painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications has dropped in states where medical marijuana is legal.
The researchers studied Medicaid recipients, according to The Washington Post, and their results found that where medical marijuana is legal Medicaid prescriptions for the same drug categories they studied dropped significantly.
Opiate painkiller prescriptions reduced by 11-percent. Anti-nausea prescriptions dropped by 17-percent. Antidepressants were prescribed 13-percent less. Seizure and psychosis medications prescriptions reduced by 12-percent.
The researchers said, “Patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine.”
Other studies have shown an overall reduction in opiate overdoses and abuse in states where medical marijuana is legal.
One conclusion of the study is simple: Legalizing medical marijuana coincides with reductions in opioid painkiller prescriptions.
The reduction in prescriptions allowed Medicare to save nearly half a billion dollars.
The researchers know that science and data have proven that marijuana can be used medicinally, and mentioned that there is “substantial and growing evidence that the requirements for Schedule I status involving ‘no currently accepted medical uses’ are no longer met by marijuana.”