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posted by CoolHand on Thursday July 07 2016, @07:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the enraging-drug-comapnies-everywhere dept.

Researchers have found that states with legalized medical cannabis saw declines in Medicare prescriptions for drugs such as opioids and antidepressants:

Research published [DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1661] Wednesday found that states that legalized medical marijuana — which is sometimes recommended for symptoms like chronic pain, anxiety or depression — saw declines in the number of Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat those conditions and a dip in spending by Medicare Part D, which covers the cost on prescription medications.

Because the prescriptions for drugs like opioid painkillers and antidepressants — and associated Medicare spending on those drugs — fell in states where marijuana could feasibly be used as a replacement, the researchers said it appears likely legalization led to a drop in prescriptions. That point, they said, is strengthened because prescriptions didn't drop for medicines such as blood-thinners, for which marijuana isn't an alternative.

The study, which appears in Health Affairs, examined data from Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. It is the first study to examine whether legalization of marijuana changes doctors' clinical practice and whether it could curb public health costs.

The findings add context to the debate as more lawmakers express interest in medical marijuana. This year, Ohio and Pennsylvania passed laws allowing the drug for therapeutic purposes, making it legal in 25 states, plus Washington, D.C. The approach could also come to a vote in Florida and Missouri this November. A federal agency is considering reclassifying medical marijuana under national drug policy to make it more readily available.

Medical marijuana saved Medicare about $165 million in 2013, the researchers concluded. They estimated that, if medical marijuana were available nationwide, Medicare Part D spending would have declined in the same year by about $470 million. That's about half a percent of the program's total expenditures.

Less prescription opioids? It seems a few pharmaceutical companies have a reason to fear legal cannabis (as long as they aren't in the business of selling it).


Original Submission

Related Stories

Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis 23 comments

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.

Previously:


Original Submission

New Study Shows Why Big Pharma Hates Medical Cannabis 79 comments

Christopher Ingraham writes in The Washington Post that a new study shows that painkiller abuse and overdose are significantly lower in states with medical marijuana laws and that when medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. The researchers found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law.

The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. As a sanity check, the Bradfords ran a similar analysis on drug categories that pot typically is not recommended for — blood thinners, anti-viral drugs and antibiotics. And on those drugs, they found no changes in prescribing patterns after the passage of marijuana laws.

The tanking numbers for painkiller prescriptions in medical marijuana states are likely to cause some concern among pharmaceutical companies. These painkiller drug companies have long been at the forefront of opposition to marijuana reform, funding research by anti-pot academics and funneling dollars to groups, such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, that oppose marijuana legalization.

Cost-savings alone are not a sufficient justification for implementing a medical-marijuana program. The bottom line is better health, and the Bradfords' research shows promising evidence that medical-marijuana users are finding plant-based relief for conditions that otherwise would have required a pill to treat. "Our findings and existing clinical literature imply that patients respond to medical marijuana legislation as if there are clinical benefits to the drug, which adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that the Schedule 1 status of marijuana is outdated."

Related:
Study Finds That Legalized Medical Cannabis Led to a Decline in Medicare Prescriptions


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday July 07 2016, @07:58PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday July 07 2016, @07:58PM (#371406) Journal

    This sounds like good news for America, but it would be even better news here in the U, where the cost of drugs is largely borne by the taxpayer. If legalising MJ could save on the NHS' pharma budget without cutting quality of are, then we need it here.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:02PM (#371407)

      They would find some other way to justify their budget.

      • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:04PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:04PM (#371439) Journal

        If you mean "they would take the same amount of money and spend it on providing an even better service" then yes, I agree with you and it would be a great thing.

        More likely they'd save £100m, and the government would see it as an excuse to reduce their budget by £140m

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:04PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:04PM (#371409) Journal

    The Feds still don't recognize any valid medical use of Marijuana, so other than reducing costs of prescription drugs, there's no universally legal way for a doctor to prescribe it according to Federal regs. This would remain true even if every state set up a medical marijuana system. The feds can pull prescription writing authority from doctors. (Although this would be horrendously stupid - which almost assures that would happen).

    The smartest thing to do is for these states to just legalize it, tax it, and recover any enforcement costs that way. Washington and Oregon and Colorado have all gone this way and enforcement of sellers and growers licensing handed over to existing control mechanisms (usually liquor control authorities). So it cost essentially nothing for additional states to copy those structures/laws, The tax revenue alone is worth it.

    To get around federal laws, those states insist on home grown sources. No interstate transportation. That essentially also keeps big pharma out of the business. I'm not sure that is essential. But Local sources would probably compete well with big national corporations in this industry. (Sorta like microbreweries generally do well).

    Side note: There is evidence [independent.co.uk] that teens use less marijuana since legalization than before.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:39PM (#371424)

      I doubt it costs nothing. I know some guys that do security for Washington state, relating to these issues. There's costs involved. I've seen the contracts. (Contracts written by people with only the vaguest idea what they were talking about, but contracts nonetheless.)

      They're probably piddling compared to the money the state makes, I just hate when people say it costs nothing, when it costs something.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:20PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:20PM (#371482) Journal

        I just hate when people say it costs nothing, when it costs something.

        Fair enough. I should have said the net costs are negative to a large degree.
        That would be obscure but accurate.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:52PM

      by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:52PM (#371432)

      The Feds still don't recognize any valid medical use of Marijuana,

      Why did The United States Of America As Represented By The Department Of Health And Human Services apply, and paid the renewal fee, for that patent : http://www.google.ca/patents/US6630507 [google.ca] then ? They seems to have a pretty good understanding of its usages:

      The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia.

      --
      Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:36PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:36PM (#371495) Journal

        I don't know, you tell me.
        The NIH did the research, and the Patent is owned by the government, which essentially makes it fair use.

        However they can continue to claim that there is no approved medical use of Marijuana.
        This is so because the government also assumed the right to approve all treatments.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:33PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:33PM (#371450) Journal

      The Feds still don't recognize any valid medical use of Marijuana,...
       
      And, those very same regulations prevent researchers from studying it to determine if there are any valid medical uses for Marijuana,...
      It's a perverse cycle but one that appears to be on it's way out.

      • (Score: 1) by Francis on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:44PM

        by Francis (5544) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:44PM (#371461)

        Exactly. It's pretty freaking clear that MJ is safe enough to at least conduct medical research with.

        But, there's a lot of questions that can't be answered without the research being conducted. Should it be legalized, decriminalized, remain a controlled substance? What should the legal limit be for driving after smoking. Are all delivery methods OK, or should it just be edibles or vapes. Not to mention questions related to what the legal age for possession and use would be if it does get decriminalized or legalized.

        The bottom line is that there's a ton of information needed to properly craft MJ policy, and barring the researchers that would be looking into it from even studying it is ridiculous. Without doing the research there's no telling what the appropriate way of handling it is. And I despise the notion that we need to let a bunch of potheads call the shots because they refuse to obey the law and are ultimately subsidizing drug gangs in other countries engaging in massive amounts of murder and mayhem.

        • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday July 08 2016, @01:21AM

          by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday July 08 2016, @01:21AM (#371569) Journal

          And I despise the notion that we need to let a bunch of potheads call the shots because they refuse to obey the law and are ultimately subsidizing drug gangs in other countries engaging in massive amounts of murder and mayhem.

          A lot prefer to buy American and/or just grow their own for this reason.

          Also, think about reconsidering the stereotypes you may be operating off. A lot of people who use cannabis recreationally are responsible taxpayers and homeowners who work 9-5 jobs. Some have respectable mothers and fathers. They like to stay that way, so naturally, they stay in the closet. Obviously in states where it's illegal that's a big, practical reason to be in the closet, but shall we say that taking sodomy laws off the books (or simply not enforcing them) didn't cause homosexuals to come out en masse. The only ones you knew about were stereotypes. For both categories, every time I see somebody being a stereotype, I cringe and wish I could slap them across the face and tell them to get their act together.

          As far as I'm concerned, the law itself is illegal. When we outlawed alcohol, we needed a Constitutional amendment to do it. Why is cannabis so different that the 9th+14th Amendments somehow don't apply to it?

          The interstate commerce excuse is horse hockey. No interstate commerce exists between me and my garden, and I can think of plants that smell way worse than cannabis. (Personally, I sort of like the smell, but I understand from another discussion you're not a fan at all. Would love the interstate commerce clause to make certain perfumes illegal however!)

          (Disclaimer: as somebody will point out if I don't add this disclaimer, one very much chooses to use cannabis flower.)

          • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday July 08 2016, @01:22AM

            by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday July 08 2016, @01:22AM (#371572) Journal

            Some are respectable mothers and fathers.

            Damn it, this is your comments on booze!

          • (Score: 1) by Francis on Saturday July 09 2016, @02:40AM

            by Francis (5544) on Saturday July 09 2016, @02:40AM (#372183)

            That's some nice spin you put on it. They aren't any different from any other scofflaws. They don't feel that the law applies to them and bitch about it when it gets enforced. And referring to them as responsible taxpayers and homeowners is just ridiculous. They might be otherwise responsible, but they choose to break the law and that's not terribly responsible.

            The law isn't illegal, it's the law. It could potentially be unconstitutional, but to date there hasn't been any ruling calling it unconstitutional. We didn't need the 9th amendment to criminalize alcohol, they could just as easily have done so without going to the extent of amending the constitution. And using an amendment like that was completely wrong, it's only supposed to be used when dealing with long term issues where the courts might make the wrong decisions. And the fact that you don't have the any sense of the history there is pretty much par for the course for people that are looking to support decriminalization. If you can't bother to educate yourself about things like that, then why should anybody take you seriously?

            As for sodomy, that's not even remotely similar to the situation with people who choose to use pot illegally. Criminalizing classes of people is completely different from criminalizing things that people choose to do.

            • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Saturday July 09 2016, @04:25AM

              by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Saturday July 09 2016, @04:25AM (#372217) Journal

              The law is frequently shown to be illegal when it contradicts the Highest Law of the Land, at least in an ideal world. Many people break the law. It may surprise you, but the Founders were criminal terrorists. Harriet Tubman, double naught spy, had a tendency to break the law. I'm fairly certain that MLK also broke the law. Those folks at Stonewall broke the law. Early feminists (“Amazons” according to the press of the day) had a habit of breaking the law.

              It would be nice if we lived in a world where we could all sit down and have a rational discussion about theoreticals such that nobody would need to break the law. Somebody would notice an injustice and go “hold on a moment here” and call a town hall. Then they could talk about it and vote, “Well, that's not right at all. Let's change the law.”

              I'm not sure who actually does that, but it's certainly not humans. They probably do it that way out Libertopia way. Unfortunately, I don't know the way to Shell Beach, if you get my drift.

    • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:36PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:36PM (#371493)

      Now that it has been shown that legalized Cannabis actually hurts the profit margins of the large pharmaceutical companies they will now start to actively oppose legalization.

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
      • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday July 08 2016, @01:44AM

        by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday July 08 2016, @01:44AM (#371581) Journal

        I've been thinking the same way. However, the upshot is that investors are smelling nice, green $$$. It's a bit of a double edged sword, but those green $$$s speak loudly. The NORML blag wrote about it a few times. Here's the most recent time it came up [norml.org].

        The True Believers and the Investors

        The industry appears to be comprised of two distinct groups of people: those who were active in the marijuana legalization movement for years, and understand the enormous damage done by prohibition; and who have migrated to the business side of the issue. And those who have no background or interest in legalization movement, but who have resources and see the new market simply as an opportunity to get rich. Obviously, it is the latter group that worries many of us, because of their sole focus on profits, and their lack of understanding of the long struggle that led to this point, and the millions of Americans who paid dearly for the right to grow or sell or smoke marijuana.

        That doesn't really capture the sentiment, but there are echoes of it in the comments section. TheOracle criticizes Pennsylvania's medical law:

        Yeah, about that excerpt, in Pennsylvania for a grower/processor the non refundable permit fee is $10,000, the permit fee is $200,000 and you have to have $2 million in cash reserves. Focus on grower/processor. Senator Folmer was on PCN and pharma companies that make the tinctures and the cannabis vaporizer cartridges are the only ones who are allowed to be growing legal cannabis it looks like. What the fuck! And it’s going to take how long to get the program running?

        I think the recent hysteria over opioids is interesting. It's clear that somebody among TPTB realized that it's time to switch the vast majority of opioid cases over to cannabis. I'll be curious to see how much of the anti-cannabis fearmongering we'll probably see in the next however many years it takes for growing and consuming cannabis to become a constitutional right again actually is funded by big pharma.

        It may be a lot less than either of us had thought at first. Lock-in to a limited number of growers seems to be what TPTB are going for.

        From the rumblings I've heard, it seems that the alcohol and nicotine lobbies are more worried about cannabis than big pharma. However, big pharma has plenty to worry about once it no longer becomes viable to push their SSRI junk. I think it was on the old site that there was a very interesting comment outlining the efforts of big pharma to establish the disease model for depression in order to push SSRIs (which are highly addictive with physical withdrawal symptoms), but it'd probably take all night for me to find it.

  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:19PM

    by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:19PM (#371415)

    if you don't know what opioids are, understand this: heroin is an opioid. so basically, doctors are prescribing heroin to people and [surprise!] heroin is exceptionally addictive. how addictive are opioids? well, more people die of prescription opioid overdose than heroin. opioids should be an absolute last resort and come with an addiction treatment plan to get off of them.

    this shit is exceptionally dangerous and it's overprescription is taking lives of people who would have been fine on a different pain killer.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:25PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:25PM (#371419) Journal

      I have a separate submission about opioids which has not been posted yet.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:37PM (#371423)

      Bunch of losers ruin the fun of everyone else. I for one want opiates for my broken arm or when my teeth or pulled. It's the only thing I look forward to when I get hurt.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:53AM (#371613)

        Or stub my toe.

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:47PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:47PM (#371429) Journal

      Stuff is terrible.

      I was in a doctors office when a patient barged into an office screaming that he was addicted to Oxycontin, demanded a refill, and threatened to sue everyone. He was jonesing pretty bad. I got the fuck out in case he started shooting. Wound up leaving on his own escorted by the buildings elderly security guard (dude had to be 65-70). Looking back at that incident, I'm relieved it wasn't a full on bloodbath. That dude was furious.

      My mother was prescribed oxycodone for post knee surgery. She became extremely dizzy and nauseous and wound up taking Tylenol and dealing with the pain.

      My friend switched to smoking weed after passing out while taking Oxycontin. Guess which one worked better?

      • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:58PM

        by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Thursday July 07 2016, @08:58PM (#371435)

        I was prescribed 20x10mg oxycondone once, I puked for about 3 hours on the first pill. I must admit that I had no pain whatsoever for the whole week that I took them however I felt like I had caught a common cold when my script ran out...

        --
        Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
        • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:14PM

          by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:14PM (#371443) Journal

          Yup, that's the same issue my mother had; she had had to vomit a few times. My friend just sat down to watch TV and blacked out. He was also nauseous but I don't know if he vomited.

          • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:30PM

            by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:30PM (#371448)

            I also had hydromorphone IV once, just after a particularly rough wisdom teeth extraction. For a few hours, it felt like I was at the beach in paradise, the waves caressing my feet, the sun shinning on me, the sounds of the sea... 15 years later I still remember how good it felt.

            --
            Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:00PM

      by butthurt (6141) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:00PM (#371437) Journal

      Thanks to fretting about the potential for addiction, we've come up with substitutes like paracetamol/acetaminophen for pain and phenylephrine for coughing, which have been found to work no better than placebo. Also there's paracetamol mixed with an opiate, so that addicts will get liver damage.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:41PM (#371460)

        phenylephrine for coughing

        Phenylephrine is a barely working decongestant. I pretty sure you meant dextromethorphan... But DXM really works, just not at the recommended dosage. I make my own cough medicine : a gelcap filled with a glycerine solution of 66mg DXM HBr and 200 mg guaifenesin HCL, they give a little buzz but they really work.

        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:51PM

          by butthurt (6141) on Thursday July 07 2016, @09:51PM (#371467) Journal

          Oh, right, phenylephrine isn't sold as cough medicine. Thank you for the correction.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday July 08 2016, @05:03AM

      by sjames (2882) on Friday July 08 2016, @05:03AM (#371658) Journal

      It's clear you've never suffered blackout level pain. It doesn't matter what you take for it, you are effectively addicted to it until the pain subsides. Some people's pain never subsides.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday July 08 2016, @11:50AM

      > doctors are prescribing heroin to people and [surprise!] heroin is exceptionally addictive

      Not really. Google "Rat Park", and actually learn about the subject before spouting the same old propaganda.
      --
      I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Friday July 08 2016, @09:56PM

        by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 08 2016, @09:56PM (#372079)

        > doctors are prescribing heroin to people and [surprise!] heroin is exceptionally addictive
         
        Not really. Google "Rat Park", and actually learn about the subject before spouting the same old propaganda.

        tell that to the people who have overdosed. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/US_timeline._Prescription_opioid_pain_reliever_deaths.jpg [wikimedia.org]

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday July 09 2016, @08:40AM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday July 09 2016, @08:40AM (#372298) Homepage
          They would have become addicted to anything that was given to them, it wasn't the fact that it was an opioid or heroin that was important. Combine that with the fact that it was literally being shoved in their face constantly.

          Don't believe me - divide your chart by this chart: https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/fig1test51414.jpg and it shows that nothing's changing over time apart from increased numbers of prescriptions. The doctors are actively encouraging this.
          --
          I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by jmorris on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:32PM

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Thursday July 07 2016, @10:32PM (#371492)

    Ok, so spending went down because Medicare and Medicaid won't fund something the Feds still list as an illegal substance. But what the baked set don't want you to do is the thing they no longer can do, think beyond today and see the consequences of dumb behavior. Yes, people are now ditching one set of drugs for another that isn't covered and that is lowering costs. But once they win and get full legalization what happens? Yup, thee and me, the taxpayers, will be writing the check for people to get baked. All these Dr. Feelgoods writing 'prescriptions' for the magic herb that cures every malady known to man (according to the pro legalization zealots, just ask one and they will tell you... for hours) will still be handing them out but insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will be paying the bill. A whole grey market industry is already forming in the states that legalized, juts waiting for the Feds to also legalize so they can gain access to the banking system again AND start suckling the teat. Follow the money.

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Thursday July 07 2016, @11:35PM

      by butthurt (6141) on Thursday July 07 2016, @11:35PM (#371515) Journal

      Would you say that marijuana has any valid medical uses, or does it have none?

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday July 07 2016, @11:45PM

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Thursday July 07 2016, @11:45PM (#371518)

        It is like AGW, no longer possible to answer with Science because of too much intersection with Politics. But considering a) the high intersection between the same people pushing both, b) the fog of bullshit covering both I'd say the likelyhood is low and the advocates seem to know they are blowing smoke with most of the medical claims. That doesn't mean that if it were possible to do real Science on the subject some use couldn't be found, just that no result produced in this environment would be trustworthy.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday July 08 2016, @05:07AM

      by sjames (2882) on Friday July 08 2016, @05:07AM (#371659) Journal

      And it will still be cheaper than the high dollar pain pills people are being prescribed now and with fewer bad outcomes.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday July 08 2016, @05:34AM

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday July 08 2016, @05:34AM (#371667)

        Oh I love optimism. Just wait until it is Federally regulated and officially sold through pharmacies. Ever looked at how much markup they get on an aspirin at a hospital? Care to bet the price of official weed billed to insurance/Medicare/Medicaid makes street prices look reasonable?

        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday July 08 2016, @05:46AM

          by sjames (2882) on Friday July 08 2016, @05:46AM (#371672) Journal

          That's not a problem of the drugs, that's the Feds playing Santa Claus for the good little pharmaceutical companies rather than playing hardball like the rest of the world does.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RedBear on Friday July 08 2016, @06:24AM

      by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 08 2016, @06:24AM (#371687)

      Ok, so spending went down because Medicare and Medicaid won't fund something the Feds still list as an illegal substance. But what the baked set don't want you to do is the thing they no longer can do, think beyond today and see the consequences of dumb behavior. Yes, people are now ditching one set of drugs for another that isn't covered and that is lowering costs. But once they win and get full legalization what happens? Yup, thee and me, the taxpayers, will be writing the check for people to get baked. All these Dr. Feelgoods writing 'prescriptions' for the magic herb that cures every malady known to man (according to the pro legalization zealots, just ask one and they will tell you... for hours) will still be handing them out but insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will be paying the bill. A whole grey market industry is already forming in the states that legalized, juts waiting for the Feds to also legalize so they can gain access to the banking system again AND start suckling the teat. Follow the money.

      Oh look, our resident ultra-conservative is still brainwashed into believing that marijuana is highly addictive (it isn't), that if you ever touch the stuff you immediately become a braindead pothead who tokes ganja 24/7 (you don't), that there are no legitimate medical uses for cannabis/THC (there are many), and that if we decriminalize marijuana he will personally be paying for every ounce of cannabis anyone wants to buy for both medical and recreational use. Also, starting and running a successful capitalist business is apparently a bad thing if it involves a substance that jmorris disapproves of.

      Thank you, jmorris, for being the truest token conservative we have. We love you, man. Never stop never stopping. You should certainly never stop not knowing anything about some of the the highly effective medications derived from cannabis that DO NOT ACTUALLY GET YOU HIGH.

      --
      ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
      ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
    • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday July 08 2016, @03:34PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday July 08 2016, @03:34PM (#371831) Journal

      > the taxpayers, will be writing the check for people to get baked.

      Whereas the current situation is much better, where you are subsidising people addicted to more expensive and equally mind-altering opiates, antidepressants and whatever else.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @03:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @03:41PM (#371838)

      Ok, so spending went down because Medicare and Medicaid won't fund something the Feds still list as an illegal substance. ... Yup, thee and me, the taxpayers, will be writing the check for people to get baked. All these Dr. Feelgoods writing 'prescriptions' for the magic herb that cures every malady known to man (according to the pro legalization zealots, just ask one and they will tell you... for hours) [and I'm cutting off your run-on sentence right there.]

      But of course you feel the same way about someone receiving a Medicare prescription for morphine and that you're paying them to dope up, right? And oxycodone. And codeine. And........

      And of course, if it isn't on label usage and scientifically proven to treat, a Doctor cannot in no sense ever prescribe a drug off label.... no sir!

      (Plus I've never tried marijuana, ever. I'm not particularly in favor of legalizing it. But lighten up, Francis. You've succumbed to reefer madness.)