Because many people become addicted to opioids through trying to manage chronic pain, adults who are more religious could unintentionally put their health at risk by dismissing medical marijuana use in favor of a more traditional pharmaceutical drug that carries a higher risk of abuse and mortality.
One recent estimate from the president’s Council of Economic Advisors finds that the opioid epidemic is costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars per year in the form of lost productivity, health care costs, and costs to the criminal justice system. Some of the rise in opioid overdoses is likely caused by job loss and economic despair, so we may see a decline as the economy continues to strengthen. But the economy is already pretty strong—despite the recent market dip— and opioid overdoses continue to plague many parts of the country. Better access to marijuana is not going to single-handedly fix the opioid problem, but it should be discussed as part of the solution.