Medical cannabis could prevent 50,000 deaths annually if legalized

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

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A new study from the University of Indiana found 50,000 lives could be saved a year if medical cannabis were to be legalized nationally.

“Adverse effects of moderate Cannabis use on physical health are subtle and rarely fatal, while Cannabis use is associated with decreased rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, mortality from traumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving fatalities, and opioid overdose deaths,” the study stated. 

According to the study’s analysis, 23,500 to 47,500 deaths could be prevented annually if medical cannabis were legal nationwide. The study also mentioned cannabis prohibition is estimated to lead to similar numbers of premature deaths as drunk driving, homicide, or fatal opioid overdose. 

Another study from the University of Georgia in April found a large statistical drop in prescription opioid use among patients after incorporating cannabis in their treatment.

The University of Georgia study also found taxpayers would save an excess of a million dollars annually if patients chose medical cannabis over opioid treatment.