The opioid crisis is hardly a new topic for most of the nation. After all, the epidemic has claimed thousands of lives in recent years. As Floridians continue to grapple with drug abuse and addiction, a new topic has reached the media spotlight: that of medical marijuana. Lawmakers have recently debated whether legal marijuana could help alleviate the opioid issue running current through the United States.
When it comes to addressing America’s widespread prescription drug problem, the solutions can become complex. CBS News focused on this issue, turning to the discussion on medical marijuana and its potential to help put a stop to this crippling drug dependence. Empirically speaking, the states that have legalized marijuana have seen a decrease in opioid prescriptions. While this observation falls short of proving a cause and effect analysis, it does use the work of researchers to show a 14.5 percent decrease in opiate use after marijuana legalization. Roughly 20 states have yet to follow suit in legalizing this drug to some extent, but experts are hopeful that marijuana may become the next tool to help combat prescription drug addictions.
Earlier this month, CNN also examined the country’s current debate surrounding marijuana legalization in connection to the opioid crisis. Also pulling from recent studies, CNN shares that opioid prescriptions also dropped in the states that modified marijuana laws. Previous months and years have reflected a clear divide on the topic of legalization on any level — regardless of marijuana’s potential medical benefits. CNN reminds its readers that roughy 90 Americans die each day due to opioid overdose. With this alarming number, it is all the more important that the public look to solutions. Although there are many ways to look at the opioid crisis, medical marijuana advocates aim to spread awareness about drug’s advantages when it comes to saving someone from a prescription addiction.