Skip to main content

Building

A better future

through education, skill development and research

LEARN MORE

Marijuana Legalization Reduces Opioid Deaths

A new Economic Inquiry study finds that marijuana access leads to reductions in opioid-related deaths.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 12:01 am EDT
"Focusing on the recent wave of recreational marijuana laws in the U.S., we find that opioid mortality rates drop when recreational marijuana becomes widely available via dispensaries."

A new Economic Inquiry study finds that marijuana access leads to reductions in opioid-related deaths.

The study examined how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades. Investigators found that legalization and access to recreational marijuana reduced annual opioid mortality in the range of 20% to 35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids.

The research extends prior findings that medical marijuana laws reduce opioid mortality rates. The findings are timely given the scale of the opioid epidemic in the United States and growing calls for marijuana legalization throughout North America.

“Recreational marijuana laws affect a much larger population than medical marijuana laws, yet we know relatively little about their effects.” said co-author Nathan W. Chan, PhD, of University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Focusing on the recent wave of recreational marijuana laws in the U.S., we find that opioid mortality rates drop when recreational marijuana becomes widely available via dispensaries.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecin.12819

About Journal 

Published since 1962, (formerly Western Economic Journal), EI is widely regarded as one of the top scholarly journals in its field. Twenty-two Nobel laureates are among EI's long list of prestigious authors.

Besides containing research on all economics topic areas, a principal objective is to make each article understandable to economists who are not necessarily specialists in the article's topic area.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

Multimedia Files:

Preview image

Contact:

Penny Smith +44 (0) 1243 770448 (UK)
newsroom@wiley.com

Business Wire NewsHQsm