Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Monday, September 10, 2018

Debating the relationship between marijuana legalization ans opioid overdose deaths

The current (September 2018) issue of JAMA Internal Medicine has three very short pieces (a comment and two replies) discussing and debating research concerning the connection between marijuana reforms and opioid overdose deaths:

 Opioid Death Rate Acceleration in Jurisdictions Legalizing Marijuana Use  by Archie Bleyer, MD; Brian Barnes, CSWA, MAC, CADC III

 Opioid Death Rate Acceleration in Jurisdictions Legalizing Marijuana Use—Reply by Ashley C. Bradford, MPA; Amanda Abraham, PhD; Grace Bagwell Adams, PhD
 Opioid Death Rate Acceleration in Jurisdictions Legalizing Marijuana Use—Reply by Jason M. Hockenberry, PhD; Hefei Wen, PhD

The first of these pieces asserts that the "opioid crisis appears to be worsening where marijuana has been legalized, despite fewer opioid prescriptions, and as such, constitutes evidence for the gateway hypothesis and against the marijuana protection hypothesis."  The other two pieces sharply take issue with the claims for the first one.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2018/09/debating-the-relationship-between-marijuana-legalization-ans-opioid-overdose-deaths.html

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