States That Legalize Medical Marijuana See Fewer Painkiller Overdoses

Via io9: ‘As the number of patients who receive opioid prescriptions to treat non-cancer pain has increased in the past decade, so too have the number of overdoses. A new study, however, finds that states that legalized medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010 had 25% fewer annual overdose deaths than the rest of the U.S.

More specifically, the research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, found that overdose deaths from opioids decreased by an average of 20% one year after the laws implementation, 25% by two years, and up to 33% by years five and six.

The study comes at a time when the CDC has warned that opioid overdoses are “skyrocketing.” Since 1999, deaths from prescription painkillers have increased 400% among women and 265% among men…