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Medical marijuana does not reduce opioid deaths, study finds

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Legalizing medical marijuana does not reduce the rate of fatal opioid overdoses, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The finding contradicts a 2014 study that legal-pot advocates, public officials and even physicians have touted as a reason to legalize marijuana. That study found lower rates of fatal opioid overdoses in the states that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes than in states where marijuana remained illegal.

The Stanford study, which revisited the issue after many more states had legalized medical marijuana, found no evidence of a connection between opioid deaths and the availability of medical cannabis, said Keith Humphreys, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

"If you think opening a bunch of dispensaries is going to reduce opioid deaths, you'll be disappointed," Humphreys said. "We don't think cannabis is killing people, but we don't think it's saving people."

 

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-06-medical-marijuana-opioid-deaths.html

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No way people could actually help themselves says the PhD. Doesn't fit his ideas at all. He would have to change his mindset totally. That's a difficult thing to do when you have hardened your position. 

How can I prove people saved their lives with substituting cannabis for opioids? I can't prove it but I know it's true. Have seen it with my own eyes. Alcohol too. Now I have included another huge faction of lobbiests that will work to muddy the water and take away any claims of helping alcoholics just like with pills.

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On 6/11/2019 at 6:37 AM, Restorium2 said:

No way people could actually help themselves says the PhD. Doesn't fit his ideas at all. He would have to change his mindset totally. That's a difficult thing to do when you have hardened your position. 

How can I prove people saved their lives with substituting cannabis for opioids? I can't prove it but I know it's true. Have seen it with my own eyes. Alcohol too. Now I have included another huge faction of lobbiests that will work to muddy the water and take away any claims of helping alcoholics just like with pills.

This is not about appeal to authority and what this PhD believes. It is about a very large statistical analysis that suggests on the whole that MM doesn't mitigate opioid deaths. It also makes no claim that no one is so helped.  

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1 hour ago, zeebudz said:

This is not about appeal to authority and what this PhD believes. It is about a very large statistical analysis that suggests on the whole that MM doesn't mitigate opioid deaths. It also makes no claim that no one is so helped.  

QUOTE: We don't think it is saving people

 

I like to work from the 'known' back to causation. It's like working a maze from the end to the beginning. Very good tool for troubleshooting. Saves a lot of time. It works with studies too. It works to check statistical analysis. I always check my math that way. I always check studies that way. If a study has been conducted correctly it should check out. 

On this study I checked it by thinking about all the people I know who have slowed or quit opioids when they started using cannabis. I know quite a few.

When the PHD said that cannabis isn't saving people that statement doesn't check out. I know it to be false by checking it. Since it's the bottom line on his statistical analysis I find the whole thing flawed. If that's the conclusion he comes to from the results he sees then something is very wrong and that deserves to be pointed out often. It's very important in this case to point out fault. He's very wrong with his idea about how cannabis isn't saving anyone. It's a very bad and wrong position to take.

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1 hour ago, zeebudz said:

This is not about appeal to authority and what this PhD believes. It is about a very large statistical analysis that suggests on the whole that MM doesn't mitigate opioid deaths. It also makes no claim that no one is so helped.  

Don't take what I said about the study personal. You brought an ignorant, flawed thing and posted it. Thanks for sharing. Gives me a chance to show wrongness and to see another attempt to steal away cannabis credit. It's always eye opening to see how things get twisted by people with anti cannabis agendas. They are very clever and fool many. Not me. Not this time. 

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"If you think opening a bunch of dispensaries is going to reduce opioid deaths, you'll be disappointed,"

Just the way he said it shows where he started...… not wanting 'a bunch of dispensaries'. 

Edited by Restorium2

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Presumably you would have touted the 2014 study which found "lower rates of fatal opioid overdoses in the states that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes than in states where marijuana remained illegal".  But a newer study - which used the same methodology but with more states and for longer periods of time - is somehow "ignorant, flawed, stealing from cannabis credit, twisted, anti-cannabis agenda". 

 

The word for that is confirmation bias.

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By the by, here is a quote from Humphreys regarding a coroner's report on a supposed THC overdose death of a 39 year old Louisiana woman last Feb:

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Keith Humphreys, a former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told The Advocate "So, that means that if the risk of death was one in a million, we would have a couple thousand cannabis overdose deaths a year. Let's assume (that the woman died from THC) is a fact. What do you conclude from that? It doesn't justify really anything from a policy viewpoint. It's just so incredibly unlikely."

Which shows that the guy is not some rabid anti-marijuana crusader as he is passing off a coroner's report as incredibly unlikely because one would expect a lot more deaths if a THC overdose was truly the cause.

Edited by zeebudz

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11 hours ago, zeebudz said:

Presumably you would have touted the 2014 study which found "lower rates of fatal opioid overdoses in the states that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes than in states where marijuana remained illegal".  But a newer study - which used the same methodology but with more states and for longer periods of time - is somehow "ignorant, flawed, stealing from cannabis credit, twisted, anti-cannabis agenda". 

 

The word for that is confirmation bias.

I don't 'tout studies', I look around and see things. I listen to people. Observe and think. Then I read studies and see if they match. It's an interesting thing for me especially when it hits close to home. I know people who would be dead now without cannabis and others it didn't help. With opioids, cannabis is saving people. No doubt about it. When someone says that allowing greater access to cannabis isn't saving more lives they will be getting a smack down of some sorts from me because that's how I roll. We are not here on this Earth to just sit by when things are wrong. We are here to fix them.  

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Simplified down to the lowest common known denominators;

We know that people substitute cannabis for opioids.

We know that people die from opioid abuse.

We know that people do not die from cannabis abuse.

We know that Keith Humphreys, a former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the study, are wrong. There have been a long line of this type in that position. They have done us the most damage over the decades.

Keith obviously doesn't have enough of the right life experiences in his own field of expertise to even comment. Dangerous person and not a real expert. Most likely says what people pay him to say.  Smack down worthy, early and often.

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Marijuana Experts? There Really Is No Such Thing
Posted by CN Staff on June 12, 2019 at 04:52:35 PT
By Mike Adams, Contributor 
Source: Forbes 

cannabis USA -- It was just last week that some coroner from Louisiana made national news by claiming that a woman died as a result of a marijuana overdose. Considering that there have never been any reports of someone croaking from cannabis, the story sparked a significant amount of outrage in the advocacy community. These folks can be an especially sensitive breed, presumably because the past several decades have been spent on a mostly fruitless crusade to get weed recognized for its medicinal benefits and made legal at the national level just like alcohol and tobacco.

But suggesting that someone actually died by smoking a little pot, well, them’s fighting words, as they might say in the South. So it was no surprise really that nearly every news organization ran a version of the THC overdose story, suggesting that marijuana experts were protesting the claim. I, for one, found this rather humorous, since there really is no such thing as a cannabis expert.

Although the cannabis plant seems relatively safe (I’ve conducted decades of personal research to come to this conclusion) the world still knows very little about its efficacy as a medicine, its overall safety and whether or not there are certain circumstances in which it could lead to death.

Now, I’m not trying to say that I buy into the coroner’s dead stoner claim. I certainly do not. As a man who once consumed his weight in high-powered, homemade edibles – which led to a three-day stoner excursion into the darkest parts of my brain, parts that I never wish to revisit, not ever! -- I can almost guarantee there is no possible way for a person to get high enough to die – not on weed. But then again, I am no expert on every facet of this plant. Nobody is. Sure, we know a few things about it – like, it feels great, food tastes amazing when we’re stoned, and it makes all of the Pink Floyd albums sound even better -- but to suggest that our knowledge of marijuana science is so vast and complete that we can simply discount the potential ills it may hold is ridiculous.

Even medical professionals, you know those people who are supposed to have a grip on all of the latest treatments and medicine, are no experts when it comes to marijuana.

In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) finds that most doctors do not know anything about cannabis – and that includes all of that CBD you’ve been scarfing down.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that 85 percent of so-called medical professionals have absolutely no education or training when it comes to cannabis. This means that when discussing medical marijuana with your family doctor, chances are everything he or she tells you, good or bad, is just an opinion and not rooted in any sort of science. To that end, the study also found that close to 80 percent of physicians don’t even realize that marijuana is a Schedule I substance. And check this out: Around 40 percent think that weed is a drug that has already received FDA approval. It is not. This is about as far from being an “expert” as it gets.

“Part of the reason physicians may feel poorly trained is that many of marijuana’s health effects are not known,” wrote Nathaniel Morris, lead researcher and resident physician at Stanford.

This is true.

Because the federal government continues to hinder cannabis research, not even the scientific community knows enough about marijuana to call themselves experts. Sure, you might hear wild tales about how cannabis cures cancer– everyone seems to know somebody that is now cancer free because they smoked a little weed, right? But really, the best evidence we have on the subject of medical marijuana – an installment from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine -- indicates that weed might be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain, nausea and spasms. That’s about all of the credible science we have. It’s a far cry from being a salvation’s wing to all of the Earthly health problems that so many so-called experts have asserted.

What makes the situation even more disheartening is a lot of the critical studies published about the benefits of marijuana eventually turn out to be disproved. For example, back in 2014, the University of Pennsylvania came out and said that opioid overdose deaths were on the decline in states where medical marijuana was legal. It was evidence that the cannabis advocacy community has been using to convince lawmakers that legal weed might be the trapdoor they’re looking for out of a drug problem that is claiming the lives of tens of thousands every year.

Well, that research turned out to be a load of bull.

A new study from Stanford University – one based on the exact scientific methods as the one from the University of Pennsylvania – finds that opioid overdose deaths are actually increasing in states with legal weed. Now, here’s the thing: researchers don’t believe that marijuana is contributing to this newfound uprising in opioid-related incidents or anything – that’s good, at least -- but they darn sure aren’t convinced that legal cannabis can save America from the dope scourge.

“What we found was that association between enacting a medical cannabis law and the rate of deaths from opioid overdose actually reversed over time,” lead researcher Chelsea Shover told NBC News. “When we did the study in 2017, the association was that states that enacted a medical cannabis law actually had higher opioid overdose deaths after the laws took effect.” Those states, they found, had about a 23 percent higher opioid overdose death rate than states in which medical marijuana remained illegal.”

So, just like that – marijuana went from being a potential solution to the opioid problem to ammunition that anti-pot warriors will most certainly use now to prevent the end of prohibition in more parts of the country. It’s the kind of situation where if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Anyone who buys into the plethora of marijuana studies that surface on an almost daily basis and uses them as fodder to further the legalization movement is just waiting to get butchered by the opposition. It’s too bad that we don’t have any actual experts on the subject to level the playing field.

Sadly, it is probably best, from this point forward, to take all of the studies published on marijuana – the good, bad and the ugly -- with a grain of salt. Until the federal government gets serious about exploring this plant in detail and chiseling away at the many claims, the truth is there aren’t going to be any experts to provide us, the nation, with definitive insights into the many allegations – THC overdose deaths or otherwise. When we live in a country where not even the scientific and medical community understands the true reach of this plant, how much stock can we really put in these sources?

Source: Forbes Magazine (US)

Edited by Restorium2

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We are the experts because we live and breath it. Everyone else is just guessing poorly.

When real cannabis experts debunk a cannabis study listen because they are your only real source of information about the plant. 

Studies are just opportunities to educate. Some that go directly against the truth give us an opportunity to see behind the curtain of false info and see the tiny fake wizard of oz pulling the levers. Their quotes are most telling like with Keith. 

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