The Fix, a website dedicated to addiction and recovery, offers this compelling statement, “When I’m on marijuana, the thought of injecting toxic drugs into my body seems totally unhealthy and unappealing.”

The comment from writer Elizabeth Brico appeared in an account of how medical marijuana has helped Brico “erase” cravings for heroin. Pennsylvania is the only state that has approved medical marijuana to treat opioid dependency, though other states are exploring opportunities. We hope Colorado and other legal marijuana states move quickly to provide access to medical marijuana for opioid dependency treatment. It is a matter of life and death.

While we still need more research on the subject, anecdotal evidence and initial studies are astonishing. States with medical cannabis laws saw 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids. Legal marijuana states saw a nearly 6 percent drop in opioid prescriptions. In Minnesota, 63 percent reported reduced or eliminated opioid usage after six months of being in the medical marijuana program.

As Brico writes of her own experience, “It’s high time we stop demonizing people in opioid recovery who choose to live a meaningful life that includes marijuana.”

Read more of Brico’s account here.