Medical marijuana could reduce prescription-related deaths in Fla., study suggests



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Medical Examiner’s Office in Orange County reported 103 deaths last year due to prescription drug overdoses, but a new study suggests the number of deaths could be lower if medical marijuana is legalized.
When Jimmy League hurt his back on the job, he turned to prescription pills to ease the pain.
“If he didn't have them, the withdrawals were horrible,” said his mother, Sue League.
His parents tried to help as his addiction worsened, but Jimmy League still managed to get his hands on large amounts of pills — until he died of an overdose.
“I cry almost every night,” Sue League said. “It's hard.”
Sue League's pain turned to anger when her son's doctor and several others across the state reached plea deals and continued practicing medicine.
That's why we shared this recent study with her.
Researchers say states that have legalized medical marijuana have nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from overdoses involving prescription painkillers, according to the study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
“This may have been something that could have helped Jimmy,” Sue League said. “I've never heard of anybody overdosing from medical marijuana.”
That why she says she'll vote "yes" in November in support of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida.
She believes in giving patients an alternative to the drugs and the pill mills she blames for her son's death.   
“To save anyone the pain of addiction to those drugs and their families the pain of losing someone accidentally, it's wonderful,” she said.
According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, the number of prescription drug overdoses is dropping year by year and they attribute that to the state cracking down on pill mills.