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The National Safety Council says those six programs and actions that could have immediate and sustained impact addressing the opioid epidemic.

Wen found that medical and adult-use cannabis laws were associated with lower opioid prescribing rates.

Each day, 90 Americans die from opioid overdoses, Hill notes in JAMA Internal Medicine, where both studies were published.

"We had about a 14.5 percent reduction in opiate use when states turned on dispensaries, and about a 7 percent reduction in opiate use when states turned on home cultivation-based cannabis laws", said researcher David Bradford, chairman of public policy at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs.

A new study has come out showing the possible link between addicts coming off of opioids and marijuana use.

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Results showed that laws that let people use marijuana to treat specific medical conditions were associated with about a 6 per cent lower rate of opioid prescribing for pain.

The study noted that opioid-related deaths decreased by more than 6 percent over two years and researchers are hoping to see if the trend is replicated in states such as Washington and OR that have also legalized marijuana. Opioid prescriptions fell by 2.21 million daily doses per year, on average, in states that legalized medical marijuana - an 8.5-percent decrease - compared with opioid prescriptions in states that didn't legalize the drug. One study examines state implementation of medical and adult-use marijuana laws with opioid prescribing rates and spending among Medicaid enrollees, while a second study examines prescribing patterns for opioids in Medicare Part D and the implementation of state medical cannabis laws. The latest studies suggest that such a painkiller already exists - it is called marijuana, and it is legal for medical use in 29 states and for recreational use in nine states plus D.C. "These findings suggest that medical and adult-use marijuana laws have the potential to reduce opioid prescribing for Medicaid enrollees, a segment of population with disproportionately high risk for chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and opioid overdose".

New research has been released that further highlights the potential role of medical cannabis in combating the Nation's opioid crisis.

There is widespread agreement among doctors and public health experts that marijuana is effective at treating chronic pain. Hill wrote an editorial that accompanied the two articles. Patients who were once trying to relieve pain are now addicted to the drugs. As people take more, their bodies become used to it, requiring more.

For one thing, they don't reveal whether individual patients actually reduced or avoided using opioids because of the increased access to marijuana.