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Originally published September 3 2014

Medical marijuana legalization reduces painkiller overdose deaths

by PF Louis

(NaturalNews) A massive joint study (no pun intended) by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City was conducted to determine the impact on reducing prescription opioid deaths in states with medical marijuana.

Would you have guessed that there was up to a 33 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths among the 13 states that allow medical marijuana? The study's results were published late August 2014, surprisingly, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Their analysis covered the period from 1999 to 2010, as the 13 states, beginning with California, initiated their medical marijuana policies.

By examining state death certificates, the researchers discovered that, after the first year of legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, the prescribed opioid painkiller overdose deaths declined by 20 percent. After two years of legalized medical marijuana in each state, opioid overdose deaths declined by 25 percent. After five years, the rate had declined 33 percent.

DEA: Another oppressive government agency

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) wants to throw everyone in jail who smokes a benign joint for relaxation and heightened awareness or uses any cannabis oil to safely remedy and cure diseases and health afflictions that expensive pharmaceuticals have usually exacerbated more than relieved.

The DEA, under the US Justice Department's umbrella, the federal agency that also runs the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which sponsored illegal gun-running to Mexican drug cartels and gangs with their covert "Fast and Furious" operation, has decided to continue listing cannabis as a Schedule I drug.

Here is an excerpt from the official DEA site:

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. [Emphasis added]

And just to give you an idea of how heavy-handed and fixed the DEA is on ensuring that they get heavily funded to feed the prison system by throwing non-violent pot smokers in jail with the motto "tough work, vital mission" on their site, here's a true incident with an ironic twist.

In 1974, the Justice Department's DEA selected the Virginia Medical College to receive NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding to do marijuana research on lab rats and prove how marijuana adversely affects the immune system and brain.

The researchers probably surprised themselves, as they witnessed cannabis-exposed rats recover from brain cancer instead. It was a surprise that didn't please the DEA, which ordered the funding stopped and had the medical college's research documents destroyed.

Since then there have been several international medical cannabis studies that have resulted in positive results as treatments for epilepsy, seizures, pain, non-appetite, nausea, anxiety, PTSD, inflammatory bowel disorders and cancer.

By contrast, medically approved pharmaceutical opioid pain relievers are classified as Schedule II, which includes legally prescribed opioids that cause more overdose deaths when medical marijuana is not available:

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
[Emphasis added]

Vicodin is in Schedule III. Note that the phrase "no currently accepted medical use" is not used for Schedule II, III, IV or V, only Schedule I.

Busting down doors and crashing into terrorized homes with "illegal" marijuana at 6:00 AM, maybe killing a family dog or two, is a "tough necessary mission." Prescribing dangerous Ritalin to children under five is legal.

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