Medical cannabis can even combat the problem of prescription drug overdose that continues to rise in the United States.
A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical cannabis laws had significantly lower rates of opioid overdose mortality. A time-series analysis was conducted from 1999 to 2010, including all 50 states.
"Three states (California, Oregon, and Washington) had medical cannabis laws effective prior to 1999. Ten states (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont) enacted medical cannabis laws between 1999 and 2010. States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate…compared with states without medical cannabis laws. Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time. In secondary analyses, the findings remained similar."
The US health care system has a reputation for heavy reliance on prescription drugs. Drug companies make billions by securing patents through government and showering doctors with gifts for pushing their pills. Opioid analgesics are prescribed for chronic pain.