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Comment & Response
September 2018

Opioid Death Rate Acceleration in Jurisdictions Legalizing Marijuana Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Oregon Health and Science University, Portland
  • 2University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston
  • 3Central City Concern, Old Town Clinic, Portland, Oregon
  • 4Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(9):1280-1281. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.3888

To the Editor Two reports published in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine describe 6% to 9% lower opioid prescribing rates for Medicare and Medicaid patients in states that legalized marijuana compared with states that have not.1,2 As cautioned in the accompanying editorial, however, “cannabis policy has raced ahead of cannabis science,” and more research is necessary to determine if marijuana availability ameliorates opioid mortality (marijuana-protection hypothesis).3

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