Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana can add another argument to their cause: The laws appear to save taxpayers millions of dollars.
According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs, doctors are prescribing medical marijuana in place of medications that have been typically used to treat patients for disorders like pain, seizures, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety. The swap appears to have saved the Medicare program – whose patients include seniors and people with disabilities – $104.5 million in 2010 and $165.2 million by 2013, because doctors are prescribing other drugs less.
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