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Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Ugh!!! I am disappointed that the Powell study was highlighted in the absence of more rigorous publications on the issue of cannabis laws and opioid abuse. I point readers to these two articles. One is a viewpoint piece that includes a brief overview of the literature on this topic. The other examines state aggregate data over a longer period (1999-2017) than Powell’s study. These both cast doubt that pro-cannabis laws will aid the opioid crisis.

Humphreys, K., & Saitz, R. (2019). Should physicians recommend replacing opioids with cannabis?. JAMA, 321(7), 639-640.

Shover, C. L., Davis, C. S., Gordon, S. C., & Humphreys, K. (2019). Association between medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality has reversed over time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(26), 12624-12626.

Thank you, Ken, for sharing these two additional studies that examined the medical marijuana law and opioid abuse relationship.

The articles you cited provide evidence suggesting that medical marijuana laws may not reduce opioid-related deaths over a longer period of time. You make great points in your comment and based on the two more recent studies, the scientific evidence suggests that pro-cannabis laws should not be recommended as a primary means of reducing opioid abuse and overdoses.

Given the importance of the opioid epidemic in the United States, we have included these two studies as potential articles for future BASIS posts.

Eric, thanks! And you and the group keep up the great work.

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