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Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked To Lower Medicaid Costs

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 21, 2017

    pills_v_potPatients use fewer prescription drugs in states where access to medical cannabis is legally regulated, according to data published in the journal Health Affairs.

    Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the association between medical cannabis regulations and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries between the years 2007 and 2014.

    Researchers reported, “[T]he use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied.” They added, “If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion.”

    The findings are similar to those previously published by the team which reported that medical cannabis access was associated with significantly reduced spending by patients on Medicare Part D approved prescription drugs.

    Separate studies have reported that patients with legal access to medical marijuana reduce their intake of opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, migraine-related medications, and sleep aids, among other substances.

    An abstract of the study, “Medical marijuana laws may be associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions for medicaid enrollees,” appears here.

    5 Responses to “Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked To Lower Medicaid Costs”

    1. mexweed says:

      Surgeon General report, 2014: “$moking-related illness” (they mean tobackgo of course) costs the US economy $289-Bil. a year of which $135-Bil. is for “medical care” (those big pHARMa guys ca$hing in big). What if “switching to marijuana” eliminates millions of $igarette addictions, will that kill jobs in the prescription drugs racket? Get the job retraining academies ready.

    2. Julian says:

      Thanks Paul, this study has impeccable political timing for Progressive Democrats leading into 2018 Congressional elections… or for the few brave moderate Republicans that see the green tsunami coming and wish to break ranks from the circular firing squad of vulture capitalists, price-gouging private insurance and reality-tv-circus the Republican party has become. The party of “no” has no one left to blame: they fell on their own sword with Trumpcare which had literally no plan to combat the high cost of health care because private insurance (which controls the Republican Party) will never willingly surrender the power to charge outrageous prices or fraud medicaid or do what John Paulsen does and sign oneself as the beneficiary for the insurance on a made-to-fail profit model. And Im one of my Republican state Representative Isaac’s greatest supporters! (If only more R’s like him stood up to Big Pharma and private insurance…)

      Legal, fairly taxed marijuana cuts to the core of price gouging by private insurance. Our power to purchase a non-patented whole plant health solution grants the power to the institutions that serve and represent us. Fairly taxed marijuana is revolutionizing our entire health care system, replacing the profitability of a toxic-synthetic-predatory patenting system with state-regulated sales tax on non-toxic whole plant marijuana. Paradoxically, the synergistic medical efficacy of whole plant cannabis has our body’s endocannabinoid system so well figured out, ethnobotanists and evolutionary biologists are lead to believe that our coevolution with cannabis has become symbiotic, where it impossible to distinguish whether we are cultivating the cannabis for our own health and benefit or the cannabis is using our feet to reproduce itself by chemically correcting our predatory nature and failed systems of government.

    3. Julian says:

      “Marijuana saves Medicaid.” Eat yer heart out Jeff Sessions.
      The beautiful advent of marijuana is its ability to produce homeostasis, a natural balance in our cannabinoid-deficient bodies. Is cannabis not growing the same balance in our society despite an authoritarian, money-laundering fascist government coup? What else is more effective in uniting vague, polarizing identities like “conservatives” and “liberals” to agree on with eachother but marijuana legalization?
      (Inhale… look at joint…) “Conservative?” Conservative of what? Hemp conserves more water relative to corn or cotton. (Shrug) So cannabis is conservative. (Puff) And what the hell does ‘liberal’ mean if I can’t carry a shotgun, shoot doves and smoke a bowl off my own front porch in my underwear?” (I live in the country… please dont do that Liberals as most Democrats live in cities… or, I dont know… move to the country and start a Democratic Cannabis Dove-shooting Caucus…)
      Point is, during an age of Citizens United where our Supreme Court is stolen by the corporate wealth we purchased from, fairly taxed and state regulated marijuana legalization from OUR participation by citizen lobbying OUR legislators is our only hope to balance out our most polarizing and patented private4profit-predatory medical system in the world. NO one pays as much money on health care as we do in the US. Its cheaper for me to fly my entire family to Mexico or just pay cash than pay the deductibles on private insurance.

      Canada is legalizing marijuana because they have publically funded universal health care, while our ponzi scheme we call private health care blocks marijuana reform. The Republican party gets funded and our deductibles deduct our freedom with voter supression like the Republican Crosscheck program.
      http://www.thebestdemocracymoneycanbuy.com

    4. Julian says:

      The rich would not live unless the poor will deny. The stakes have never been higher, and neither have we! Click on the green Act tab on this page and participate in whats left of our Democratic Republic now!

    5. mexweed says:

      Thanx for good points. Not speculating where you got the habit of shooting doves, what we do in the city is feeding pigeons in the park. Break bread or pizza, and fire the pieces or French fries in the air so they see it and fly over. Then toss each next one nearer, nearer till they are taking it from the hand, or up on your knees pecking at one piece held in each hand. My record is 9 pigeons on me at one time.
      .
      Antonin Dvorak loved feeding pigeons, there is a photo of him doing it. There are bird sounds in the op. 95 (New World Sym., NY) and 96 (American Qrt, Iowa).
      .
      Agreed, hemp conserves water, how do we conserve riefer? Limit servings to 25 mg #16 sifted bwdflakelets in a screened quarter-inch crater (the word “bowl” unfortunately connotes bigness, as in “Bolshoi”), and:
      .
      “hold flametip 2″ below,
      suck smooooooooooth, slow,
      don’t start any glow
      till after 19
      seconds or so.”
      .
      Modern money-squandering fascism is what we know as consumer $lavery: practiced notoriously by O’Reillysponsoring corporations on tv. So anxify the victim’s emotions that they’ll seek relief via sugarpopdrinkin’ shopppping binges.
      .
      “not just any fascism– only the best goldplated fascism billionaire money can buy.”

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