New Studies Prove Medicinal Marijuana Is Safe And Reduces Prescription Opioid Use

As is usually the case after a mass shooting, a few Americans are decrying the senseless, seemingly planned, deaths that are piling up in increasingly frightening numbers. However numerous the number of senseless gun deaths in structurally violent America are, they pale in comparison to another seemingly planned effort to kill off American citizens. The biggest killer of Americans is not guns, automobile accidents, or even suicides; it is prescription pain killers by an incredibly large margin.

One might think that the course of wisdom is immediately addressing what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls a deadly epidemic of prescription pain misuse, but that would mean the pharmaceutical industry would experience diminished profits. So what does the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) do at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry? It allowed for a dangerously massive increase in production of a highly-addictive and deadly opioid like Oxycontin; and it has been increasing drastically throughout the medical marijuana era. If the DEA had been paying any heed to the mountain of medical research by experts in managing pain, it would have learned that what Americans in pain need most is not more prescription pain killers, but better access to medicinal marijuana; that common weed that is empirically proven to reduce opioid use and save countless thousands of Americans’ lives every year.

There was yet another very comprehensive, and long-term, study published in “The Journal of Pain” that revealed medicinal marijuana used for chronic pain not only reduces prescription pain medication use, it is an incredibly safe and effective treatment alternative with no adverse side effects like opioid pain relievers. The study’s researchers reported that cannabis users reported less pain, better overall moods, and universally had no increased risk of adverse effects compared to the control group. In fact, the study revealed that the pot smokers’ cognitive functions such as memory improved. It is not the kind of study the pharmaceutical industry will allow to be conducted in America precisely because the results are anathema to a highly-profitable industry unbothered that its product is the source of immeasurable and unnecessary American citizens’ deaths.

The researchers at McGill University in Montreal followed 215 pot-smokers who used about 2.5 grams of the weed daily, as well as 216 non-smokers over the course of four years between 2004 and 2008, including a one-year follow-up study. All of the subjects were tested for lung functions, underwent daily blood tests, and suffered through very comprehensive cognitive ability tests.

There was another study released in July of this year that produced the same results as the one in Montreal, and was only reported by the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study was conducted by three researchers with the RAND corporation, NBER, and the University of California at Irvine. According to the conservative think tank’s report, in 2010 prescription opioid use caused 16,651 Americans to die that represented over 60% of all drug overdose deaths; exceeding overdose deaths from both heroin and cocaine combined. Over 16,000 lives are still being lost annually due to prescription opioids right up until today. Hospital emergency departments reported that in 2011 alone, emergency opioid related emergency room visits more than doubled for a total of 1.24 million visits involving the non-medical and medical use of prescription pain relievers in 2011. It is little wonder the CDC consider the over and misuse of prescription opioids an “epidemic.”

One person who made news last week by lying about medicinal marijuana and claiming her opposition to making the weed more widely accessible to treat PTSD was borne of “losing a daughter to drug addiction” is Republican liar and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Fiorina’s step-daughter did not die from using marijuana; she died from prescription drug and alcohol abuse and struggles with bulimia. Perhaps if Ms. Fiorina and her step-daughter were even remotely aware of numerous reports and surveys of medical marijuana patients demonstrating that they were able to drastically reduce, and often eliminate, their need for prescription painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin, or Percocet that are extremely dangerous and highly addictive, Lori Fiorina would be alive today. She certainly would not have struggled with bulimia if she used medicinal cannabis.

Fiorina obviously is also ignorant that one of the primary factors driving the current heroin epidemic is people whose Oxycontin prescriptions lapse leading them to buy a $5 bag of heroin from drug dealers instead of going through the significant amount of ‘hassle and expense’ to procure more Oxycontin; one of the most addictive and popular prescription opioids next to every doctor’s “cure all” Vicodin. No-one should believe for a second that opioid overdoses are solely from non-prescribed use or addicts “doctor shopping.” Over 60 percent of “all opioid overdoses occur in people prescribed the drugs by a single physician for ‘legitimate’ reasons.”

A group of researchers analyzing medical marijuana laws, and 10 years’ worth of death certificates from all 50 states discovered that compassionate states allowing medicinal marijuana use had a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than barbaric states where medical weed remained illegal. According to David Hador, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, “Scientists have known for many years that the major active ingredients in cannabis medicines, cannabinoids, are potent pain relievers, and that they act synergistically with opiates to increase the degree of pain relief. The addition of cannabis medicines to therapeutic regimens can reduce the need for opiates by 50 percent or more in most patients, while also reducing side effects that opiates commonly produce.”

One might think that with a deadly ‘epidemic’ of prescription opioid pain relievers claiming more American lives than gun homicides, suicides, and automobile accidents every year that there would be a monumental drive to make medicinal marijuana legal across America. However, for the same reason there is no willingness among politicians to restrict the number of guns, and gun homicides, the pharmaceutical industry is not about to allow Americans to use a more effective, and incredibly safer, pain reliever because they are not manufacturing it and putting it in pill form to increase their profits.

This column often comments that marijuana is probably not a “miracle drug” and it certainly is not for everyone, but empirical data finally being revealed to Americans makes a case that marijuana is, if not a miracle drug, a highly-effective substance available to treat a wide range of infirmities, cancers, and afflictions due to injury. Now that another study proves it reduces the need for prescription opioid pain relievers, and can prevent thousands of American deaths every year, the fact that it is not legal from medicinal use in all 50 states means one of two things. Either the pharmaceutical industry is lobbying harder than ever to keep Americans addicted and corporations ultra-profitable, or like their Republican facilitators they just like the idea of killing Americans in pain.

23 Replies to “New Studies Prove Medicinal Marijuana Is Safe And Reduces Prescription Opioid Use”

  1. Whether the nay-sayers like it or not, it’s the healing of
    the nation. Legalization today, legalization tomorrow,
    legalization forever! Bless up.

  2. …those Teahadists who try to deny THIS science should be strapped into a chair, a mask placed firmly over thier nose and mouth…pot smoke pumped in until they SEE THE LIGHT!!!
    …by then they’ll have the Mega-Munchies…

  3. Exactly Shadow, & have someone standing by with a well stacked platter of Barbequed liver sandwiches on rye to satisfy those Mega Munchies.

  4. After 50 years of marijuana use , I remain drug free from all other drugs , it’s not a so called gateway drug . Weed actually kills cancer cells , still cancer free . It has positive effects in treating PTSD & tension , & is used for recovering memory loss , no noticeable memory loss here . Anyway light up , it helps with the anxiety of dealing with any Republican agenda .

  5. Also prohibition of marijuana in 1937 has cost the U.S. Close to $10trillion in drug in tradition , prison construction , incarsceration , judicial costs $ attorney fees , the cost of supporting those with corresponding felony charges ( unemployable) & their offspring . The destruction of many poor communities due to uneven prosecution of drug laws . Add in the economic loss & tax loss from weed sales for approximately 90 years . Economically prohibition of drugs & these last two wars more than equal our national debt .

  6. I forwarded a petition to my senator Mitch McConnell, asking that he consider the legalization of canabis oil, used for the treatment of seizures. Shit for brains responded by telling me marijuana was a gateway drug, and the terrible problem that eastern Ky has with herion and prescription drug abuse. Eastern Ky has a senator stuck on stupid, and wants to keep his constituents hooked on drugs or felons to keep them from voting.

  7. Eventually there will be enough scientific data to finally tip the scales. We’re not there yet, but we get closer and closer with every state that finally sees the light and legalizes marijuana, at least for medical reasons.

    But once Americans finally learn the truth about the lies we’ve been told all our lives, there WILL be hell to pay. When it gets out that Nixon’s own scientists proved that medical marijuana cures cancer cells back in 1974, and Nixon shelved the studies because he wanted to punish his political enemies by creating the War on Drugs, people are going to ask why. The Drug War is one of America’s most destructive policies that has ruined countless lives.

    Add the CIA under Reagan and their cozy relationship with Columbian drug cartels, dumping tons of cocaine onto the streets of America. One must wonder if there really is a shadow policy that exists to enslave Americans into the prison system, or let Americans die from cancer and pain killers.

  8. Ditto, it also helps reduce clonus (muscle spasm) in paralyzed people, personally resulting in less falls and injury. 40 years.
    Congress could use a little peace pipe.

  9. It is my understanding that “NOBODY” has ever “OVERDOSED” using (ONLY) “MARIJUANA”!!!! Can the same thing be said about (“LEGAL”) “ALCOHOL” and “PRESCRIPTION-DRUGS”???? WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!!

  10. Here here, but, I disagree on one point:

    I would use a strain that has an appetite suppressant…

    …from there you can play with all kinds strains! You could “Play with their heads” as the elders used to say…

    (and yes, teahadist could provide useful research data that could some day be used to cure them of their terrible, debilitating mental illness. We’re going to have to doing something with them, or, we’re going to wind up spending all our tax dollars housing them, instead of adding tax revenues to government(s) thru the sale of marijuana; it’s the best way to fund strain-based “rehabbing programs” for them).

  11. Why do you think they call it the “coughing cure”?

    Technically you just need to “coat” the Silvia Glands, “cough” and absorb (not inhale it like those honky 60’s movies).

    3 minutes to medicinal bliss…

  12. Marijuana can also be “consumed” in “edible” form by making it into a “Cannabis-Butter” which then can be utilized to cook and bake many very “delicious-deserts” and foods. Such as “Brownies” and Cookies etc.. And the “really-good” thing is that you will have “NO-HANGOVER” facing you after the “effects” of your marijuana consumption (“use”) wear off. Having too be “paranoid” about “using” this “natural-plant” (do primarily to the many unjust “LAWS”,”Regulations” and Govt.”Scare-Tactics” regarding its “use” is the only real thing that prevents a lot of people from “experimenting” with or using it (for which I can’t really blame them). In my opinion. “If” it can be made “legal” here in the U.S.A. then the “entire” World could “GO TO POT” and we “all” would not even give a damn!!! Because we would “all” be a lot better off if it really did “GO TO POT”!!!!

  13. In some areas, keeping marijuana illegal is job security for some law enforcement! They have a entire task force dedicated to search and eradicate…, these individuals will fight to make sure it remains illegal.

  14. How about “offering” these same “Anti-Pot” law-enforcement folks a whole lot more “fun-times” and extremely “less-stressful” and “less-dangerous”, very secure, job position in the “soon too be”, ever expanding, “Cannabis-Research and associated “product” Job production fields that could and “will” be “created” when and “if” marijuana is actually “Officially” “Legalized” in the U.S.A.. “AS,IF”….

  15. The DEA could use a bit of Shadowolf’s remedy: strapped into a chair, a mask placed firmly over their nose and mouth…pot smoke pumped in….

    Pass the Doritos, please.

  16. Their fear is ridiculous. There are plenty of illegal drugs that DO destroy lives, families and communities to educate and fight against.

  17. All I have to say is

    Don’t bogart that joint, my friend’
    Pass it over to me’
    You been holdin’ on to it’
    and I sure would like a hit’

    The Federal prohibition will fall after a few more states legalize it. The Feds can move all their DEA agents over to the ATF and the “Moonshine Revenuers” department.

  18. I agree! So many lives are being lost and so much pain is being caused just because we won’t legalize one little drug. It could be so much easier, if we would just DO IT.

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