Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked to Lower Medicaid Costs

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Data published in the journal Health Affairs revealed patients who have legal access to medical cannabis use fewer prescription medications. Researchers from the University of Georgia looked at the link between medical cannabis and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries between 2007 and 2014, and found prescription drugs from Medicaid was lower in legal medical marijuana states than in prohibitionist states in five out of nine clinical areas. These findings support similar findings regarding Medicare Part D and studies that found medical marijuana reduced the use of opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, migraine-related medications, and sleep aids, to name a few. These studies point to the potential for medical marijuana to not only reduce prescription drug use and combat the abuse of medications and opioids, but also to the potential to save states billions of dollars in Medicaid and Medicare spending. 

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.