The National Post reports in its Saturday edition that the more legal pot shops a region has the fewer opioid deaths they suffered, says The BMJ, also known as the British Medical Journal.
The Post's Adrian Humphreys writes that in areas with one legal storefront cannabis dispensary, opioid death rates were an estimated 17 per cent lower than average. In areas with two dispensaries, there was an estimated 21-per-cent reduction.
The results suggest pot use as an alternative to opioids in pain management could improve health prospects.
What the study does not do, however, is specifically declare a direct cause of lower opioid death rates.
The study authors write, "While the associations documented cannot be assumed to be causal, they suggest a potential association between increased prevalence of medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries and reduced opioid-related mortality rates." A Canadian study published last week found legalizing weed led to a "marked decline" in the volume of opioids prescribed.
The Canadian study, published in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy journal, concludes that "easier access to cannabis for pain may reduce opioid use for both public and private drug plans."
© 2021 Canjex Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.