A new study released out of the University of New Mexico suggests that marijuana isn’t the gateway drug it’s been portrayed as for decades. The study actually found the opposite to be true. Researchers said that using marijuana may help prevent people from dabbling in harder drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.
Partaking in the study were 125 chronic pain sufferers over a period of 5 years, reports the Independent. Forty-two of the participants chose to abstain from using marijuana while the other 83 used marijuana.
Thirty-four percent of those that used marijuana for pain management stopped using their prescribed medications. Only 2 percent of the non-marijuana users stopped using their prescribed medication. The other 98 percent of non-marijuana users maintained their prescription use.
Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil said, “Our current opioid epidemic is the leading preventable form of death in the U.S. – killing more people than car accidents and gun violence. Therefore, the relative safety and efficacy of using cannabis in comparison to that of other scheduled medications should be taken by the health providers and legislators.”
Vigil pointed out that heroin and painkillers are killing about 90 Americans every day.