Interesting, and there are many supporting articles on this. I had to google it when I heard Chad Williams on 1520 am talking about this for OK https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sen-cory-booker-wants-make-marijuana-legal-across-u-s-n788661 Sen. Cory Booker introduced a wide-reaching bill on Tuesday that would drop the federal prohibition on marijuana and even encourage states to legalize the drug. In an announcement on Facebook Live, Booker, D-N.J., ran through the reasons why he believes the war on drugs has failed: families torn apart; billions in taxpayer dollars wasted; too many Americans behind bars — especially people of color and the poor. Legalizing marijuana, he said, would go a long way to solving those national problems. But there's another potential side effect to the Marijuana Justice Act — one that Booker says had not been on his mind when he started working on it: Legal pot, according to some researchers and advocates, could help blunt the opioid epidemic. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks at a news conference with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill on July 11. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP "I've seen a lot of very compelling preliminary data that shows there is a drop in opioid overdoses in areas that have better access to marijuana," Booker said in a phone interview with NBC News on Tuesday, adding that he looked forward to seeing more research. The bill comes as the Trump administration, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions, vows to get tough on marijuana — a crackdown that Booker said just adds to the "urgency" of his legalization push. Sessions, a fierce opponent of legal pot, has scoffed at the idea that weed could be used as a weapon against opioid addiction. "Give me a break," Sessions said during a speech in February, later adding: "Maybe science will prove I'm wrong." A recent study found that in states where it is legal to use medical marijuana for chronic pain, hospitals ended up treating far fewer opioid users. Hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse fell 23 percent on average in states where pot was allowed for medicinal purposes, according to the study published earlier this year in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. And hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average, the study found. Related: Legalized Marijuana Could Help Curb the Opioid Epidemic, Study Finds In a 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower in states where medical marijuana is legal. Facebook Twitter Embed As Doctors See Benefits of Medical Marijuana Treatments for Seniors, Calls for Changes in Policy 1:42 The findings suggest that legal pot could help fight the scourge of opioids — a growing crisis that claims the lives of 91 Americans every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's a super intriguing idea," said Dr. Esther Choo, a professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University who studies substance abuse. "I think it totally makes sense." Choo, who was not involved in either of the studies, cautioned that doctors and scientists need to keep studying the potential health hazards of marijuana. The cannabis industry operates in an unusual legal gray area. Eight states have legalized the drug even though the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies it as a Schedule I substance — meaning it's considered more dangerous than cocaine (Schedule II) or ketamine (Schedule III), the oft-abused pet tranquilizer. Booker's bill would remove pot from the Schedule 1 category. Related: One in Three Americans Took Prescription Opioid Painkillers in 2015 At one rehab center in California, drug treatment specialists have reported seeing some opioid addicts make incredible strides with marijuana. Facebook Twitter Embed Can marijuana help wean addicts off heroin and other opiates? 4:33 "We know anecdotally, but with a lot of confidence, that it helps people with detox and it helps people stay off opiates," said Joe Shrank, the co-founder of High Sobriety, a Los Angeles treatment clinic where pot smoking is not only tolerated but encouraged. For many of the facility's patients, marijuana is an "exit drug." "If we're dropping almost 100 bodies a day [due to the opioid crisis], we should be looking at all options," Shrank said. "If there are people who want to use cannabis to get off and stay off opioids ... I'm, like, good with that. You're not gonna drop dead. You're gonna have chances in life."