A new study found that prescriptions for painkillers have declined in states where medical marijuana is legal. The number of painkiller-related overdoses in these states has also declined.
The study also concluded that 265 fewer doses of antidepressants were prescribed each year in medical marijuana states, The Washington Post reports. As well, the number of doses of seizure medication prescribed lessened. Other medications with decreased doses prescribed were anti-nausea medications and anti-anxiety medications.
In medical marijuana states, 1,826 fewer doses were prescribed for painkillers.
Research study leaders Ashley and W. David Bradford said, “This provides strong evidence that the observed shifts in prescribing patterns were in fact due to the passage of medical marijuana laws.”
Ashley Bradford also commented that, “The results suggest people are really using marijuana as medicine and not just using it for recreational purposes.”
Patients with glaucoma are still seeking some traditional medications as medical marijuana provides temporary relief.
Pharmaceutical companies are losing money and have urged federal lawmaking agencies to stop the further liberalization of marijuana laws. Much of this comes after the discovery of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) recommendation of the rescheduling of marijuana. The DHHS suggested a rescheduling from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3.
The reasoning for the suggested rescheduling is to broaden the ability for advanced research.