Legal medical marijuana sales linked to increased opioid deaths

Economists found that legal, medical marijuana access has been linked to increased opioid-related deaths in a new study, contrary to earlier findings.

Medical marijuana legalization was linked to 15% to 29% higher rates of opioid-involved fatalities from 1999 to 2019, two economists from the University of Virginia concluded in a new paper circulated in early March by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study, which has not yet undergone a peer review, found that the supposed benefits of legalization for reducing opioid overdose deaths were reversed by just adding a few extra years, contradicting what an earlier,
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