According to a new study named “Economic Inquiry”, access to cannabis might reduce the number of opioid-related deaths.
The study sought to evaluate how the legalization of marijuana has affected mortality across the US in the last two decades. Researchers found that the legalization of marijuana in a number of US states, as well as increased access to cannabis, has eventually reduced the number of deaths by a margin of between 20% and 35%. The effects were even more pronounced when the subjects of the study used synthetic opioids.
The research confirmed earlier claims that marijuana could actually reduce mortality in the US. Researchers say that this study is timely, given the opioid epidemic that’s being experienced across US states. Such revelations have amplified calls from researchers as they demand the legalization of cannabis across the US.
According to the study’s co-author, Nathan W Chan of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, recreational marijuana laws do affect more people than medical marijuana laws do. He added that opioid mortality rates have dropped significantly in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.
“Looking at the recent wave of recreational marijuana, cannabis is now more available in dispensaries than it has ever been,” he says.