Letters

Letters

Sessions taking a dangerously unhealthy approach to battling opioid epidemic

States that have legalized medical marijuana may soon find themselves in greater conflict with the US Department of Justice, as it seeks to end the country’s “historic drug epidemic” (“Sessions seeks to prosecute cannabis dispensaries,” June 14).

Recent science tells us that reducing access to medical marijuana does not lead to declines in opioid use. In fact, it is very likely that the opposite is true.

Advertisement

Numerous studies published in influential medical journals have found that greater availability of marijuana may reduce the frequency and amount of opioid consumption. Medical marijuana patients report that they substitute marijuana for alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs, in part to reduce adverse effects such as craving and withdrawal. And in states that have legalized medical marijuana, there are lower rates of death from opioid overdoses.

The opioid crisis is harming families in Massachusetts and across the United States, and it deserves an evidence-based public health response. These is no scientific reason to think that that response should include reductions in access to medical marijuana.

Jane A. Allen

Center for Health Policy Science and Tobacco Research

Public Health Research Division

Nicholas C. Peiper

Behavioral and Urban Health Program

Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division

RTI International

Waltham

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com