Some continue to insist that marijuana is a gateway to stronger drugs. And some law enforcement agencies still focus on marijuana. Even while opiates are largely ignored. As cannabis legalization expands across the country, researchers continue to explore the potential of cannabinoid therapy, though. Recent studies indicate that cannabis may prove to be helpful against a wide variety of addictions. Somewhere around 21 million Americans are currently affected by addiction. Addiction to alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and some prescription drugs cost the public approximately $800 billion dollars every year. And the number of accidental deaths by overdose has tripled in the last fifteen years. Although some experts argue that replacing dependence on one kind of drug for another is not an effective treatment, the addiction to marijuana is drastically rare. This natural substance is far less addictive than even cigarettes or numerous other legal substances, but according to the DEA, there have never been any deaths from marijuana overdoses. Cannabinoid therapy offers the potential of lowering rates of addiction as well as overdoses. Legalizing cannabis has reduced the number of overdose deaths, and in 2015, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the states offering legal cannabis had nearly a quarter fewer opioid overdose-related deaths. And plus, there was also a decline in the number of prescriptions filled to treat depression, psychosis, anxiety, seizures, nausea, and sleep disorders. Medical marijuana has already even saved the Medicare program millions of dollars. Legalizing marijuana nationwide offers a potential savings of approximately $480 million! And while the cost savings is undoubtedly a benefit, the legalization of marijuana is simply saving lives. There is hope for millions of people suffering from addiction – and their families.