"In an analysis of death certificate data from 1999 to 2010, we found that states with medical cannabis laws had lower mean opioid analgesic overdose mortality rates compared with states without such laws. This finding persisted when excluding intentional overdose deaths (ie, suicide), suggesting that medical cannabis laws are associated with lower opioid analgesic overdose mortality among individuals using opioid analgesics for medical indications.
"It is clear, however, that cannabis use did not compromise substance abuse treatment amongst the medical marijuana using group. In fact, medical marijuana users seemed to fare equal to or better than non-medical marijuana users in every important outcome category. Movement from more harmful to less harmful drugs is an improvement worthy of consideration by treatment providers and policymakers. The economic cost of alcohol use in California has been estimated at $38 billion .