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A study found the unintended way legalized marijuana is likely preventing overdose deaths.

The reasons for supporting legalized pot are stacking higher, and higher, and higher, and higher...

A study found the unintended way legalized marijuana is likely preventing overdose deaths.

Weed is a real life-saver, amiright?

*wink*


GIF via "Pineapple Express."

No, but really. Weed might actually be saving lives!

To understand how, let's start by talking about prescription painkillers. Painkiller abuse has become a major problem in America. In 2011, the CDC reported that more people died from overdosing on painkillers than from cocaine and heroin combined.

In fact, America's prescription painkiller problem has become so dire the CDC considers it an epidemic.

And that's where legal weed comes in.

A vendor weighs buds for medical marijuana patients in Los Angeles. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

New research has found that access to medical marijuana is likely saving lives by reducing overdose deaths caused by prescription painkillers.

Many people who use medical marijuana do so to alleviate chronic pain associated with various ailments. So a few smart folks set out to find the answer to the logical question: Is legal marijuana acting as an alternative for people who might otherwise use and abuse painkillers?

Those smart folks — better known as researchers from the University of California, Irvine, and the RAND Corporation — analyzed U.S. states that permit medical marijuana to see if they could find some answers.

And answers they did find: "Our findings suggest that providing broader access to medical marijuana may have the potential benefit of reducing abuse of highly addictive painkillers."

Medical marijuana patients attend a cannabis market in Los Angeles. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

To reach their conclusion, the researchers looked at two different measures: 1. How many people had been admitted to addiction facilities for painkiller abuse, and 2. How many people died from painkiller overdoses.

States with medical marijuana legalization and pot dispensaries saw reductions in both admissions and deaths compared to states without medical marijuana. The accessibility of the weed played a role, too: Researchers didn't find decreases in states that allow medical marijuana but don't allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

This marks a tally in the "win" column for pot advocates...

...a tally that follows a whole lot of other tallies.

There's mounting evidence that the pros of pot outweigh the cons — for both medicinal and recreational purposes. This study showed how medical marijuana can save lives, but decriminalizing weed can also save us lots of money, too — money we could be spending on public schools and not on, say, our massive prison population.

Fortunately, the facts are encouraging more Americans to rethink the green stuff.

Gallup found in November 2014 that a slim majority of Americans support legalizing weed. To put that into perspective, that figure was at just 34% in 2003.

Public policy has reflected that shift. Throughout the past two decades, 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana, and four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — and Washington, D.C., now allow recreational weed.

Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images.

America is getting behind a relatively safe drug that can save lives, boost vital tax dollars, and shrink our country's prison population? I'll smoke to that.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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