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Pot advocates look to legalize in Az, but concerns remain about MMJ

When Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 2010, the traditionally conservative state did so tentatively: The “yes” campaign garnered 50.1 percent of the vote. Now, pro-legalization groups have once again targeted Arizona as a state that could legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.
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Aug 19, 2015, 1:49 pm
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“From a pharmacological perspective, cannabinoids are considerably safer than opioids and have broad applicability in palliative care. Had cannabis not been removed from our pharmacopoeia seven decades ago and remained available to treat chronic pain, potentially thousands of lives that have been lost to opioid toxicity could have been prevented.” (Carter, et al., 2011)

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests medical marijuana may be an antidote for the scourge of fatal overdoses caused by prescription pain medication. Medical marijuana patients have reported for many years that they use fewer prescribed pain medications when medical marijuana is available.  Research, reported in the JAMA Internal Medicine (Aug 2014), finds that deaths associated with the use of opiate drugs fell in 13 states after they legalized medical marijuana. Compared to states with no formal access to marijuana, those that allowed patients legal access to cannabis saw a steady drop in opiate-related overdoses that reached 33%, on average, six years after the state’s medical marijuana laws took effect.

Although Right Wing Nut Jobs in the Arizona legislature and our county prosecutors focus on what they perceive will be costs associated with marijuana none focus on the positive aspects or public health benefits of ending prohibition.

Every day in the United States, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose.  There were 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2013. Of these, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to prescription drugs.  Of the 22,767 deaths relating to prescription drug overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid painkillers, and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines (Center for Disease Control).

Prescription drug overdoses have surpassed traffic accidents as a cause of death in Arizona.  Hopefully, legislators in Arizona will find the courage and develop the compassion needed to do the right thing for the people of Arizona.  Or they can do nothing, continue to listen to the voices in their heads, and refuse to look at the evidence.  As a consequence, many Arizonans will perish. 

The legalization and regulation of cannabis will have long term benefits and improve the health of those who would otherwise die of opiate drugs. Medical marijuana saves lives!  Legalize and regulate this effective natural herbal medicine like alcohol in 2016.



[Carter et al.  Cannabis in palliative medicine: improving care and reducing opioid-related morbidity. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011.]

Aug 19, 2015, 9:43 pm
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The headline says MJJ.  Did you mean MPP?

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