Marijuana safer than opioids, but moms shouldn't use

Posted April 19, 2017

Americans think it's safer to use marijuana than opioids to relieve pain, but they were less comfortable with children and pregnant women using pot to treat medical conditions, according to a new Yahoo/Marist poll released Monday. However, many do not think regular use of marijuana is as great of a health risk as the regular use of tobacco, alcohol, or the use of a doctor's prescription for opioids.

Americans in general, including parents, believe 20 to be the age at which someone is old enough to decide whether or not to use marijuana. The rest weren't sure. Overdoses on prescription opioids and heroin claim 91 lives every day, and an estimated 2 million people may be hooked on pills. Fifty-one percent of Americans think consumption of marijuana is a health risk.

Marijuana by itself is not fatal.

Broadly speaking, the study found: many American adults see marijuana as potentially unsafe for their children, but no more than other substances; most Americans favor legalizing medical marijuana, though less than half support legalizing recreational marijuana; and there is still a bit of a stigma attached to marijuana use.

Eugene Monroe, a former Baltimore Ravens lineman turned medical marijuana advocate, told FOX Business in June 2016 that the National Football League should revise its stance on pot use.

People who have tried or use marijuana are more likely to worry children will smoke cigarettes, according to the survey.

The results are similar to those reported by polling agency Gallup, which has earlier revealed that the number of Americans who said that they have tried pot increased to 44 percent in 2015 from just 4 percent in 1969. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 and today 29 states have laws providing for medicinal marijuana or cannabis and eight states have passed laws legalizing recreational use of the drug in some form.

Trump said as a candidate that states should be allowed to tinker with marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime pot opponent, said past year that "good people don't smoke marijuana", and pot backers fear the worst.

Of 1,122 adults that participated in the survey, 69% of respondents said athletes should use weed for pain relief purposes, while 24% disapproved of the practice.

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