Studies: Legal Marijuana Reduces Opioid Prescription Rates

Marijuana plants are grown at Essence Vegas' 54,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation facility on July 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On July 1, Nevada joined seven other states allowing recreational marijuana use and became the first of four states that voted to legalize recreational sales in November's election to allow dispensaries to sell cannabis for recreational use to anyone over 21. Since July 1, sales of cannabis products in the state have generated more than USD 1 million in tax revenue. / Getty Images

Two new studies, released Monday in the American Medical Association’s journal of internal medicine, provide new evidence suggesting legalization of medical and recreational marijuana reduced opioid prescription rates, an important development as America continues to face a crisis of opioid overdose deaths.