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Prescription Drug Use Falls Amid Cannabis Legalization

According to a new research paper published in the journal Health Economics, the legalization of cannabis for adult use has decreased prescription drug use to treat conditions such as anxiety, sleep, pain, and seizures.

Researchers used data from Medicaid reporting on prescription drugs from 2011 to 2019, using two-way fixed effects event study models to determine whether there’s a statistically significant relationship between giving adults legal access to regulated cannabis and pharmaceuticals for six different conditions.

The study found “significant reductions in the volume of prescriptions within the drug classes that align with the medical indications for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis, and seizures” in states that legalized cannabis for adult use.

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