How Marijuana Dispensaries are Saving Lives
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 08/01/2015 in Medical Marijuana
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past twenty years, the cat is out of the bag in regards to the medical validity of cannabis. It seems that every month a new study comes out in favor of marijuana and along with more information; public opinion is rapidly shifting towards a legal environment.
One subject that is usually up for debate is the use of marijuana dispensaries. Proponents of prohibition claim that marijuana dispensaries will increase the likeliness of people purchasing and consuming cannabis. In some cases, this is true; however, sales are strictly available only to adults meaning that dispensaries make it harder for kids to get their hands on marijuana as well.
However, there is one unforeseen consequence of having marijuana dispensaries. Statistics indicate that having easy access to marijuana dispensaries has a direct correlation to a reduction of fatal opiate overdoses.
Marijuana Dispensaries curbing opiate overdoses
The RAND Corporation in collaboration with the University of California-Irvine found that states that legalized both medical marijuana and dispensaries saw a reduction in people misusing opiate medication and in turn reducing the amount of fatal overdoses.
With a 16%, reduction in opioid-related mortality and 28% decline in opioid-treatment admissions there is solid evidence to suggest that marijuana dispensaries are saving lives. With a staggering amount of 16,000 opioid related deaths in 2013, this would mean that dispensaries under current estimates could have saved the lives of 4480 people in that pool.
In States that have medical marijuana programs but prohibited dispensaries, there have been no reduction in abuse or mortality relating to opioid medication.
Why this occurs
The most plausible theory is substitution. Cannabis is a stellar pain medication without the harsh side effects of opiates. In terms of being functional, patients prefer cannabis over opioids and with cannabis having very low addictive qualities, patients see less risk in this method of medication.
By creating safe access to medical marijuana dispensaries, these statistics suggest that we might be saving thousands of lives in the process. This is just one more piece of evidence that shows how effective legalization truly is and how much unforeseen benefit it could provide society.