New US research shows cannabis laws are associated with a significantly lower rate of opioid prescribing
A cross-sectional study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine) has compared opioid prescribing trends between US states that implemented medical and adult-use cannabis laws from 2011 to 2016.
During this period, an estimated one-third of opioid prescriptions were misused or abused, of which Medicaid shared a disproportionately large burden.
Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care enrollees are reportedly a high-risk population for chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and opioid overdose.
In the US, some states have implemented adult-use cannabis laws that permit all adults aged 21 and over to use the drug.
Most states have also introduced medical cannabis laws, where people with eligible conditions are able to enrol on a patient registry and access a certain amount of cannabis through home cultivation or licensed dispensaries.
State implementation of medical and adult-use cannabis was associated with a lower Medicaid-covered opioid prescribing rate, researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and Emory University Rollins School of Public