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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...

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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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