Does Medical Weed Lower Medicaid Drug Costs?

ReeferA new study in Health Affairs looked at the effect medical marijuana has on prescription drug use in state Medicaid programs. It found positive correlation between states that have passed medical marijuana laws and lower Medicaid drug spending. Just over half of states (28) have pass some type of law that allows for medical marijuana. Researchers reviewed fee-for-service (FFS) drug utilization (2006 – 2014) in state Medicaid programs to compare states that allowed medicinal marijuana with states that did not.

Researchers looked at nine categories of prescription drug use and found FFA prescriptions were lower in five of the nine categories in states allowing Medical marijuana. Researchers estimate that if all states passed medical marijuana laws, the savings to the Medicaid program would save significant. They conclude:

If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion.

The results are similar to a previous study by the same team. They believe medical marijuana would lower drug utilization in both the Medicaid and Medicaid population.

Comments (8)

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  1. Lee Benham says:

    Does food stamp usage on potato chips and Cheetos increase at the same rate as the RX decrease?

  2. Z Woof says:

    JAMA reported that Rx overdose deaths dropped 25% in those states that enacted Medical Marijuana. This indicates a lot of dead people would live and use additional Medicaid resources. This is complicated.

    Besides, only 88% of Americans approve of Medical Marijuana which is a long way from 100% so lets all just slow down and consider the rights of those last 12% who just say, “NO.”

    As I understand it in a Republic you need 100% support so any one citizen in the country could filibuster and stop any attempt to restore our Constitutional rights. That’s what happened to lifting the UNCONSTITUTIONAL ban on Short Term Medical which started 20 days ago putting us insurance agents out of business, AGAIN. It looks like both Dr. Tom Price and Dr. John Graham at HHS could care less about MILLIONS of Americans keeping their low-cost option with STM. Let them be UNINSURED, who cares? SO, we have 2 people, not just ONE, who are in charge that don’t care about us. Much like King George and those pesky Redcoats.

    I tell my beautiful wife, who has had all of her HSA customers cancelled, not to worry about being run out of business AGAIN. What is most important is that all of the PHDs earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year so they can pay the expensive upkeep on their BMWs. I understand how not one of the PHDs can even comment on the UNCONSTITUTIONAL ban on STM because they can’t be political and jeopardize those HUGE paychecks.

    I just tell my broke sweetie,

    I’ve got words but no processor.
    I’ve got feelings but I don’t know DOS.
    So I just have to go back to basics
    And try to get my point across.

    Desperate for a glimpse of the future.,
    We use crystals and cards and dice.
    And that Kim Jong-un is coming our way.
    They’re talkin’ ’bout some worldly strife.

    It’s time to think of simpler options.
    It’s time to formulate a big plan B,
    So if your hard drive does crash,
    I got some Krugerands stashed.
    Come on and sail away with me.

  3. Allan says:

    I’m having similar problems posting to the blog that Ron had. Devon, there must be a glitch in the system. I am changing some of the entry data to post.

  4. Allan says:

    No matter how I vary the text I am not able to post so I will post at

  5. Allan says:

    I will post this response at weak idea at berries, the preceding thread of this blog. Maybe the citations are activating the duplicate posting prevention.

  6. Allan says:

    Devon, there is a glitch in your system that ought to be fixed. No matter what I do I can’t post my message even after drastically changing the wording

    Ron you are wrong about needing 100%. See the text of the Constitution Article 5 and take a look at the Convention of States. Google both since I am leaving the citations out.

    According to that group only 34 states are needed for a constitutional convention and apparently they have passed the application in 10 states.

    • Devon Herrick says:

      I will check to see if there is something that has changed.

      • Allan says:

        Devon, take note that only by accident did I see this entry. I didn’t see your name under recent comments. The message people are supposed to get if others comment on their posting doesn’t work as well.

        I changed my email back to the original email so if you see this note the glitch preventing me from posting under that address is gone, but in the past I have had a “moderation” problem a couple of times and another time where I had this exact problem. Thanks.

        Is Allen West still at NCPA?