Two Studies Show Medical Cannabis Laws Associated with Significant Reductions in Opioid Prescribing in Medicare Part D Population.

Prescriptions for all opioids decreased by 3.742 million daily doses per year when
medical cannabis dispensaries opened.
 Medical cannabis policies may be one mechanism that can encourage lower prescription opioid use and
serve as a harm abatement tool in the opioid crisis.
 
Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population

Question  What is the association between US state implementation of medical cannabis laws and opioid prescribing under Medicare Part D?

Findings  This longitudinal analysis of Medicare Part D found that prescriptions filled for all opioids decreased by 2.11 million daily doses per year from an average of 23.08 million daily doses per year when a state instituted any medical cannabis law. Prescriptions for all opioids decreased by 3.742 million daily doses per year when medical cannabis dispensaries opened.

Meaning  Medical cannabis policies may be one mechanism that can encourage lower prescription opioid use and serve as a harm abatement tool in the opioid crisis.

Conclusions and Relevance  Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population. This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions. (emphasis added)

Full study here:https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2676999?utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jamainternalmedicine&utm_content=olf&utm_term=040218

Association of Medical and Adult-Use Marijuana Laws With Opioid Prescribing for Medicaid Enrollees

Question  Are medical and adult-use marijuana laws passed after 2010 associated with lower rates of opioid prescribing for Medicaid enrollees?

Findings  In this population-based, cross-sectional study using the all-capture Medicaid prescription data for 2011 to 2016, medical marijuana laws and adult-use marijuana laws were associated with lower opioid prescribing rates (5.88% and 6.38% lower, respectively).

Meaning  Medical and adult-use marijuana laws have the potential to lower opioid prescribing for Medicaid enrollees, a high-risk population for chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and opioid overdose, and marijuana liberalization may serve as a component of a comprehensive package to tackle the opioid epidemic.

Conclusions and Relevance  Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population. This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions. (emphasis added)

Find study here:https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2677000?utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jamainternalmedicine&utm_content=olf&utm_term=040218

About Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is a long time activist in the marijuana reform movement. He was responsible for changes to the initiative process and has been a persistent voice in Salem for marijuana reform. His recent efforts led to the addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana as well as sentencing reform including the creation of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and hashish, a long overdue change in Oregon statute.