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Legalizing Marijuana Leads to Drop in Painkiller Deaths

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on December 1, 2014 · 0 comments

in DUI

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In a new study by Johns Hopkins University, researchers found a surprising correlation between the 13 states that have legalized marijuana and deaths from painkiller overdose.

 

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, linked a 25 percent decrease in painkiller overdoses from Oxycontin and Vicodin each year after the states made marijuana use legal.

 

Despite marijuana’s schedule I drug classification, it’s virtually impossible to overdose from marijuana, unlike opiates. Opiates are schedule II drugs, meaning that they are considered less addictive or dangerous than schedule I drugs like marijuana, heroin and LSD.

 

Researchers say there’s a strong chance that patients in these states are turning to marijuana to deal with pain, leading to them to use lower doses of opiates to control pain, or quit using them altogether. Lower dosage means there’s a lower chance that the patient will develop an addiction to the painkillers.

 

However, a leading addiction specialist says that theory may be a stretch, mainly because medical marijuana isn’t widely prescribed for chronic pain. He says the more likely reason is that states that have legalized medical marijuana are also more likely to have more progressive laws regarding addiction, such as tighter restrictions on opiates. Part of the reason marijuana cannot be prescribed at all by doctors—only recommended—is because it remains on the schedule I drug list by the DEA.

 

The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.

 

Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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