Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas P. Kim

Reader 2

Jon Shields

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Rights Information

© 2017 Melanie Biles


Opioid addiction has reached an all-time high in America, partially because there is no federally approved, affordable, available alternative for chronic pain. This paper examines the role of medical cannabis in the opioid crisis by exploring the effect of medical cannabis laws on opioid prescription rates in an OLS regression. I found that medical cannabis laws produce a statistically significant decrease in opioid prescription rates. I discuss the specific policy components that would allow medical cannabis policy to be most effective nationwide.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.