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Legalization Reduces Demand for Prescription Drugs



Legalizing adult-use cannabis lowers the demand for prescription drugs through state Medicaid programs, according to a recent study.


Adult-use cannabis legalization reduces demand for prescription drugs through state Medicaid programs, according to research published last week in the Health Economics journal. When states approve adult-use reforms, the number of prescriptions within the drug classes that align with the medical indications for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis, and seizures significantly decline, the researchers from the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy and Indiana University found.


In an interview with the Cornell Chronicle, Shyam Raman, a doctoral student in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, described the study’s results as having “important implications.”



The study used data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all 50 states from 2011 to 2019 – in 2012, Colorado and Washington State became the first states to legalize cannabis for adult use.


A separate study published last November in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids found that 65% of survey respondents reduced or stopped taking at least one prescription medication after enrolling in a medical cannabis program. Another study published in January in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal found that medical cannabis patients diagnosed with ADHD were likely to use fewer prescription drugs for their condition


AUTHORED BY:

TG Branfalt / Ganjapreneur






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