Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population
Opioid-related mortality increased by 15.6% from 2014 to 2015 and increased almost 320% between 2000 and 2015. Recent research finds that the use of all pain medications (opioid and nonopioid collectively) decreases in Medicare Part D and Medicaid populations when states approve medical cannabis laws (MCLs). The association between MCLs and opioid prescriptions is not well understood. Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population. This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions.