Study: Legal Pot Lowers Demand For Medicaid Prescriptions
Marijuana activists hold up a 51-foot inflatable joint during a rally at the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to pass cannabis reform legislation on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
April 20, 2022

Happy 420! Looks like recreational pot could save states a lot of money through their Medicaid programs, according to a new study via Cornell.

When states legalize marijuana, the volume of prescriptions for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis and seizures significantly decline, the researchers found.

Shyam Raman, a doctoral student in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, and Indiana University doctoral student Ashley Bradford conducted the research. Their article, “Recreational Cannabis Legalizations Associated with Reductions in Prescription Drug Utilizations Among Medicaid Enrollees,” published April 15 in the journal Health Economics.

Most cannabis research has focused on the impact of medical marijuana on demand for prescription drugs or the impact of recreational use legalization on opioid demand. This is among the first studies to focus on the impact of legal personal-use cannabis on a broad range of prescription drugs.

“These results have important implications,” Raman said. “The reductions in drug utilization that we find could lead to significant cost savings for state Medicaid programs. The results also indicate an opportunity to reduce the harm that can come with the dangerous side effects associated with some prescription drugs.”

Look for a sudden wave of "research" proving pharmaceuticals to be much "safer" than pot. We can't cut into their profits, right?

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