A new study has revealed that medical marijuana legislation has lowered the use rate of opioids.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego and Weill Cornell Medical College, wrote in the journal Addiction stated, “In this study, we found that statewide medical cannabis legalization implemented in 1993 – 2014 in the US was associated with close to 30% reductions in Schedule III opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.”

The study has predicted that “[I]f all the states had legalized medical cannabis by 2014, Medicaid annual spending on opioid prescriptions would be reduced by 17.8 million dollars.”

The study has estimated that the states that have medical marijuana legislation have saved the federal government $7.46 million in annual Medicaid spending.

“[E]vidence suggested that cannabis provides mild to moderate relief from pain, on par with Codeine, making cannabis a better alternative to Schedule III opioids,” the researchers also wrote.

“Although there is emerging evidence suggesting that cannabis is effective in treating severe pain, no studies compared the analgesic efficacy of the cannabinoids with Schedule II opioids. Due to the concern of cannabis’ lack of efficacy on severe pain symptoms, patients prescribed Schedule II opioids might be less likely to switch to medical cannabis and physicians might be less likely to recommend medical cannabis to these patients.”

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