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Medical News & Perspectives
December 18, 2018

States Move to Substitute Opioids With Medical Marijuana to Quell Epidemic

JAMA. 2018;320(23):2408-2410. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17329

As state governments grapple with ways to curb the opioid epidemic in their own backyard, New York and Illinois took a relatively new approach last summer by modifying existing medical marijuana laws to allow certain patients to substitute their opioids with medicinal cannabis.

In each state, patients with an opioid prescription or a condition for which an opioid is indicated can instead buy cannabis at a registered dispensary with a physician’s written certification.

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