Study links cannabis laws to fewer drug prescriptions

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  • Medicaid beneficiaries in the 29 US jurisdictions that allow the medical use of cannabis were less likely to fill prescriptions in 5 clinical areas compared with enrollees in states that have not approved the substance's use, a study published in Health Affairs finds.

Why this matters

  • The authors suggest that expanding "medical marijuana" laws could save money for the Medicaid system, estimating that if all states had had such a law in 2014, fee-for-service Medicaid could have saved $1 billion.
  • The authors analyzed State Drug Utilization Data, which covers all drugs reimbursed by each state's ...