Medical marijuana’s side effects could include decreasing government spending and opioid painkiller dependency.

Libertarians have long fought for the legalization of marijuana, citing the drug’s medicinal advantages and its low-risk for addiction.

A new study has revealed even more reason why the prohibition of the drug should be considered as a wholesale idea.  Not only does marijuana availability drastically curb the use of dangerous and addictive opioid painkillers, but it is also saving the government serious cash in states where it is totally or partially legal.

A new study by researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) showed states with legalized medical marijuana had lower rates of prescription drug use. Not only that, but the government is saving money as a result of not having to pay for as much medicine for Medicare patients.

“Medical marijuana saved the Medicare drug program more than $165 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and Washington, D.C., permitted its use. If it had been legal across the nation, according to a UGA press release, the savings ‘would have been around $468 million.'”

Libertarians may have been right all along in asserting that the legal use of marijuana would be a boon to our government, and could possibly alleviate some of the enormous bloat of the new government-required Affordable Care Act.

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