Despite the fact The Washington Post sometimes writes about marijuana in flawed ways, the news group did a good thing on Tuesday by calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his recent comments relating to marijuana.
“I see a line in The Washington Post today that I remember from the ’80s,” Sessions said Tuesday. “‘Marijuana is a cure for opiate abuse.’ Give me a break. This is the kind of argument that’s been made out there to just — almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits. I doubt that’s true. Maybe science will prove I’m wrong.”
This is after Sessions said Monday that marijuana legalization is causing “real violence.” (Legalization has actually hurt the cartels.) This bad dude isn’t wasting any time pissing off the cannabis community.
Since Sessions appeared to not know the science and admitted he may be wrong, which he is, The Washington Post decided to show him the science.
The Post’s first point: “Marijuana is great at treating chronic pain.”
The main thing the Post points to to prove cannabis is good for treating chronic pain is a National Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering study that looked at all available studies that focused on using marijuana to treat chronic pain. That study found there is “strong evidence” that marijuana is useful for treating chronic pain.
Second point: “States with medical marijuana laws see fewer opiate deaths.
As we’ve pointed out many times, states with medical marijuana typically have less opiate deaths than those that do not. The Post points to a major study that found between 1999 and 2010, medical marijuana states had 25 percent fewer opiate deaths than the states that didn’t have medical marijuana during that time.
Third point: “Access to medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with less prescription painkiller abuse, and fewer overdose deaths.”
Here the Post points to a paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed when citizens have easy access to dispensaries, the number of people going to substance abuse treatment centers can decrease by up to 35 percent.
Fourth point: “Medical marijuana is associated with fewer opiate-induced car crashes.”
“A 2016 Columbia University paper zeroed in on a different facet of the substance abuse problem — auto accidents,” the Post writes. “The researchers found that after a state passes a medical marijuana law, fewer drivers in those states test positive for opioids after fatal car crashes.”
There are two more points (studies showing less painkiller use in medical states and among cannabis users), but you get the idea. It’s clear if Jeff Sessions wants to see the real science behind why marijuana legalization would be great for tackling the opioid epidemic and would actually reduce violence, he doesn’t have to do a lot of research. Maybe the 70-year-old just doesn’t know how to use a computer.