Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Mark Turner, Jul 19, 2019.
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I weld a mean broom
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''When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale and never tried it again.''
According to his wife he did his best work stoned in the shower, writing random thoughts on the shower walls with soap, lest he forget some profound insight.
This may offer a different medical perspective on the bad reputation marijuana has gained strictly from ignorance and intentional misdirection.
and more importantly,
A new Economic Inquiry study finds that marijuana access leads to reductions in opioid-related deaths.
The study examined how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades.
Investigators found that legalization and access to recreational marijuana reduced annual opioid mortality in the range of 20% to 35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids.
The research extends prior findings that medical marijuana laws reduce opioid mortality rates.
The findings are timely given the scale of the opioid epidemic in the United States and growing calls for marijuana legalization throughout North America.
“Recreational marijuana laws affect a much larger population than medical marijuana laws, yet we know relatively little about their effects.” said co-author Nathan W. Chan, PhD, of University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“Focusing on the recent wave of recreational marijuana laws in the U.S., we find that opioid mortality rates drop when recreational marijuana becomes widely available via dispensaries.” "
THE EFFECTS OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION AND DISPENSING ON OPIOID MORTALITY
Nathan W. Chan / Jesse Burkhardt / Matthew Flyr
First published: 06 August 2019 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12819
This study documents how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades. We use a difference‐in‐difference approach to estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws (MML) and recreational marijuana laws (RML) on fatalities from opioid overdoses, and we find that marijuana access induces sharp reductions in opioid mortality rates. Our research corroborates prior findings on MMLs and offers the first causal estimates of RML impacts on opioid mortality to date, the latter of which is particularly important given that RMLs are far more expansive in scope and reach than MMLs. In our preferred econometric specification, we estimate that RMLs reduce annual opioid mortality in the range of 20%–35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids. In further analysis, we demonstrate how RML impacts vary among demographic groups, shedding light on the distributional consequences of these laws. Our findings are especially important and timely given the scale of the opioid crisis in the United States and simultaneously evolving attitudes and regulations on marijuana use. (JEL I18, K32, H75)
Our principal finding is that recreational marijuana access significantly decreases opioid mortality, with the most pronounced effects for Synthetic Opioids (Table 4). The effect stems primarily from access via dispensaries rather than legality per se, as our RML Effective coefficients are statistically insignificant, while our RML Dispensary coefficients are all negative and statistically significant.10 The effect is roughly −21% for All Opiates and Prescription Opioids, and it is even larger for Synthetic Opioids (−33%). In line with prior work, we find that medical marijuana reduces opioid mortality, although the effect is primarily attributable to access to dispensaries (Powell, Pacula, and Jacobson 2018).
Our estimates are sizable. For reference, the average never‐legalizer state has 4.82 (0.995) fatalities per 100,000 people from All Opiates (Synthetic Opioids) annually, while for the average MML state, these are 6.067 and 0.856 per 100,000 people. Thus, our estimates imply annual reductions in All Opioid mortality between 1.01 and 1.27 deaths per 100,000 people for non‐RML states, on average. For a state with a population of 5 million (near the nationwide median), this would save on the order of 50 lives per year, or roughly 10 averted deaths from Synthetic Opioids alone. However, these are conservative estimates, as the average mortality rates cited above are for our entire sample from 1999 to 2017, much of which is well before the surge in opioid mortality.
To provide another perspective, there were around 47,600 deaths from opioids nationwide in 2017, or roughly 14.9 per 100,000 people (Scholl et al. 2019). A reduction of 21% would imply nearly 10,000 lives saved or a decrease of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people. Scholl et al. (2019) show that the opioid mortality rate increased from 13.3 to 14.9 per 100,000 people from 2016 to 2017; thus, our RML treatment effect would offset roughly 2 years of growth during the opioid boom. However, we caution that this latter calculation likely overestimates lives saved, as the total mortality figure includes both treated RML states and non‐RML states. "
The medical properties of marijuana are just the tip of the benefits this extra-ordinary plant offers, which may well be to most versatile eco-friendly industrial crop of all
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