The Politics of Cannabis: A Week in Review Aug. 8, 2018

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Summary

The bottom line is clear and concise: Prescriptions for opioids fell — by 3.74 million daily doses per year in one study — when medical cannabis dispensaries opened. The studies implied a correlation between those states that have reformed their medical marijuana laws and a noteworthy decline in opioid use. Republican lawmakers have begun debating the political value of legalizing recreational marijuana through the legislative process – before the midterm elections. JAMA Studies Two studies published on Monday in a peer-reviewed medical journal – JAMA International Medicine – expanded the existing body of research for states with medical cannabis laws and reduced opioid use. A marijuana initiative on the November ballot could increase voter turnout, and Republican lawmakers are making moves to increase their chances of being reelected come Nov. 6.

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There was a lot of compelling marijuana news being reported last week – and most of it was highly encouraging: A new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association indicates opioid use plummeted in states with legal access to medical cannabis; Albuquerque officials voted to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis, and Michigan’s Republican lawmakers contemplate legalization before the November election.

Counterintuitive cure or political trick? The roots of marijuana reform continued to spread over the past week.

JAMA Studies

Two studies published on Monday in a peer-reviewed medical journal – JAMA International Medicine – expanded the existing body of research for states with medical cannabis laws and reduced opioid use. The studies implied a correlation between those states that have reformed their medical marijuana laws and a noteworthy decline in opioid use. While the first study analyzed the total number of prescribed opioids...

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