Whether you have a date this Valentine’s Day or not, there’s plenty to love as we round the corner on 2021! Medical marijuana research, advocacy, and acceptance is on the rise – and that means more and more great news for Florida medical marijuana patients.
Need a pick-me-up or just some extra positivity to top off your Valentine’s Day celebrations? Read on for the medical marijuana news CannaMD physicians are loving most this February 14th!
New Marijuana & Opioid Research
When medical marijuana first hit the scene, doctors were hopeful that cannabis would help curb the opioid crisis. Now, several years later, study after study continues to confirm that is exactly what is happening!
Just this month, researchers with Yale and the University of California Davis published a report in the British Medical Journal finding:
An increase from one available [marijuana] dispensary in a county to two is associated with a 17% reduction in opioid-related overdose deaths; an increase from two to three is associated with a further 8.5% reduction.
As Yale Insights summarizes:
[The lead researcher] is quick to acknowledge that these results… don’t provide causal evidence: the legalization of cannabis and the establishment of dispensaries doesn’t necessarily cause fewer opioid deaths. But he sees at least three possible explanations for the correlation that are worth further investigation. First, when cannabis is legal and available, some people may opt to purchase and use it rather than opioids. Second, people who have started using opioids may wean themselves from their addiction with legal cannabis. And third, legal cannabis, through regulation, is safer than illicit product.
While more research is needed, whatever way you cut it: Medical marijuana appears to be having an increasingly positive impact on the opioid epidemic!
Relaxed Marijuana Possession Penalties
While not a specifically medical issue, CannaMD is excited to see a reduction in penalty severity regarding simple/non-violent marijuana possession charges. As a recent example, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor intends to reduce the number of [marijuana] cases, all but telling the county’s police agencies not to bother referring such misdemeanor cases for prosecution.
As Pryor wrote in a memo:
Prosecuting these cases has no public safety value and is a costly and counterproductive use of limited resources.
We couldn’t agree more!
More Balanced Marijuana Coverage in Mainstream Press
In a positive move for those hoping to fight marijuana stigma, the mainstream press is beginning to report both sides of controversial cannabis studies.
Case in point?
A 2020 study published in Nature Medicine found “an association between maternal cannabis use in pregnancy and the incidence of autism spectrum disorder in the offspring.” While initial headlines were alarming, the press has since picked up the researchers’ emphasis on a “cautious interpretation of these findings given the likelihood of residual confounding.”
In a well-researched piece, Spectrum News suggests “careful reading.” For the full article, see: Researchers Urge Caution Over Study Linking Marijuana to Autism.
Senior Citizen Cannabis Studies
Medical marijuana has proven safe for senior populations time and time again. And yet, somehow, the good news never gets old!
In a recent study published by the European Journal of Internal Medicine, researchers found:
Amongst older adults with hypertension, cannabis treatment for 3 months was associated with a reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values.
For more on medical cannabis and senior population safety, see: Medical Cannabis in the Elderly, Safety and Efficacy Study.