Lower Opioid Overdose Death Rates Associated with State Medical Marijuana Laws

August 25, 2014

Abstract

A study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014 found that in states with Medical Marijuana programs there was an almost 25% reduction in opioid overdose deaths when compared with states that did not have medical marijuana programs.
Importantly, the data in this study were collected on states that had programs up through 2010. Many more states have come online with medical marijuana programs since 2010!

Results

States with medical marijuana laws had a 24.8 percent lower average annual opioid overdose death rate compared to states without such laws. In 2010, that translated to about 1,729 fewer deaths than expected. The years after implementation of medical marijuana laws also were associated with lower overdose death rates that generally got stronger over time: year 1 (-19.9 percent), year 2 (-25.2 percent), year 3 (-23.6 percent), year 4 (-20.2 percent), year 5 (-33.7 percent) and year 6 (-33.3 percent).

This press release summarizes the conclusions of Bachhuber, 2014 Lower Opioid Overdose Death Rates Associated with State Medical Marijuana Laws published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014.  The study found that in states with Medical Marijuana programs there was an almost 25% reduction in opioid overdose deaths when compared with states that did not have medical marijuana programs.

Importantly, the data in this study were collected on states that had programs up through 2010. Many more states have come online with medical marijuana programs since 2010.

 

Lower Opioid Overdose Death Rates Associated with State Medical Marijuana Laws

External Links

JAMA Article Summarizing Study Results:

Lower Opioid Overdose Death Rates Associated with State Medical Marijuana Laws – For The Media – JAMA Network. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2017, from https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/lower-opioid-overdose-death-rates-associated-with-state-medical-marijuana-laws/

PDF Download of the Study:
 Bachhuber, M. A., Saloner, B., Cunningham, C. O., & Barry, C. L. (2014). Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(10), 1668. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4005
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