Seniors putting away prescription drugs in exchange for medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is being used instead of many prescription drugs to treat a variety of symptoms including pain, depression, anxiety, nausea, psychoses, seizures, and sleep disorders. David Bradford, a health economist and professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, said that “when states turned on medical marijuana laws, [researchers] did see a rather substantial turn away from FDA- approved medicine” (Cohen). In 2013, Medicare saved about $165 million on prescription drugs in DC and 17 other states that allowed cannabis to be used as medication (University). Bradford also notes that the use of medical marijuana has led many to stray away from the use of opioids, a form of drug that concerns many physicians because of its high likelihood of addiction and dependency. Some, like Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist, fear that the use of medical marijuana might create “medical care that is of poor quality.” Unfortunately, research on the benefits of medical marijuana has been severely limited due to a law enacted by Congress in 1970 classifying it in the same category as heroin (Cohen). Medical sociologist Sheigla Murphy argues that many seniors prefer it to painkillers and sleeping drugs and that the only thing known for certain about the use of medical marijuana is that “no one has ever died of it” (Cohen).
Cohen, Ronnie. "Seniors with Access to Medical Marijuana Use Fewer Prescription Drugs." Reuters. July 06, 2016. Accessed July 09, 2016. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-medicalpot-elderly-idUSKCN0ZM2C9.
University of Georgia. "Not Blowing Smoke: Research Finds Medical Marijuana Lowers Prescription Drug Use." ScienceDaily. July 06, 2016. Accessed July 09, 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160706172022.htm.