Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Colorado Reversed a 14-Year Trend of Rising Opioid-Related Deaths

At the heart of the marijuana debate is one question: Can weed actually provide health benefits that outweigh its risks? According to a recently published study in the American Journal of Public Health, the case that it can has been made sufficiently stronger.

The recently published study from researchers at the University of North Texas and University of Florida examined the impact of recreational cannabis' legalization in Colorado, which began selling the drug for adult use in Jan. 2014, as compared to opioid-related deaths. Opioids are a class of prescription medicines typically administered to treat various types of chronic and severe pain. They can also be a highly addictive medication that, in 2015, led to 20,101 related prescription deaths, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
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