[A] growing body of evidence suggests that legal access to medical marijuana could in fact help reduce overdose deaths. The latest study, published by the RAND Corporation this week, found that states that allowed liberal access to marijuana through legally protected dispensaries saw reduced deaths from opioid overdoses. States that legalized the drug but didn’t allow dispensaries didn’t see the same pattern.
Among states with dispensaries, those that legalized medical marijuana before 2010 saw larger reductions in opioid deaths than those that legalized it afterwards. The authors hypothesize that’s because the late adopters tend to have more stringent rules that make it harder to get marijuana, requiring patients to take additional steps such as registering with the state or repeatedly seeing a doctor to confirm a need for medical marijuana. (The researchers examined state-level data from 1999 to 2013, so weren’t able to gauge the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana altogether.) “The key feature of medical marijuana law that facilitates a reduction in overdose rates is a relatively liberal allowance for dispensaries,” the researchers concluded.
The reason for this, previous research has suggested, is that marijuana can help treat chronic pain, thus reducing the need for opioids.
On this date at Daily Kos in 2013—Kochsman Marco Rubio likely to offer same old, same old energy ideas in State of the Union response:
Rebecca Leber at Think Progress points out that Sen. Marco Rubio may perhaps include something about the need for more dirty energy in the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.
It certainly would be no surprise given that Rubio is one of the five senators who, for his votes, received an A+ last year from Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group founded and funded by the brothers Koch—David and Charles—to ensure, among other things, that nothing substantive on climate change or green energy manages to emerge from the Senate or the House.
While he isn’t as aggressive a climate-change denier as, say, Sen. James “It’s a hoax” Inhofe, Rubio does still deny in his smarmy way as can seen in this exchange hosted by Buzzfeed just a week ago:
Ben Smith: Do you see global warming as a threat to Florida?
Rubio: The climate is always changing, that’s not the question. The question is if man made activity is what’s contributing the most to it. I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.