Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2014
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2014 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Sept. 3 editorial ("Legalized marijuana has become a
farce"), open access to medical marijuana has beneficial side effects.
New research published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA) shows that states with medical marijuana access
have a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than marijuana
prohibition states. This research finding has huge implications for
states like Massachusetts that are struggling with prescription
narcotic and heroin overdose deaths.

The phrase "if it saves one life" has been used to justify all manner
of drug war abuses. Legal marijuana access has the potential to save
thousands of lives. The substitution effect was documented by
California practitioners long before the JAMA research.

Access to medical marijuana is correlated with a reduction in opioid
and alcohol abuse. The marijuana plant is incapable of causing an
overdose death. Not even aspirin can make the same claim, much less
alcohol, prescription narcotics or heroin.

ROBERT SHARPE Common Sense for Drug Policy  
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