Study finds medical marijuana may reduce opiate-based narcotic deaths, website reports

States that have legalized medical marijuana and provide it through dispensaries to patients in need are seeing falling rates of deaths due to opiate-based narcotics, according to a study reported on by the website Vox.

The study's key finding is that in states that have actual medical marijuana dispensaries are seeing the decrease -- not the states such as California that legalize medical marijuana and don't control its distribution. It also found that states that don't have legal medical marijuana aren't seeing the decreases in opiate-based narcotic overdoses that states with dispensaries are experiencing.

The study is by David Powell and Rosalie Pacula of the RAND Corporation. It's considered a "working paper," meaning researchers are saying they need more data to confirm the early indications they've found.

The results of the study could bode well for Louisiana, which earlier this year finally provided a framework for both producing medical marijuana and...

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