A recently released report claims that Colorado's legal weed sales are responsible for a reduction in opiate overdose deaths.

That's according to the American Journal of Public Health.There have been several past studies investigating the connection between opiate-related deaths and legal marijuana but this if the first to consider recreational sales.

It appears that marijuana is effective at treating some types of chronic pain. It appears too that many patients, when given a choice, are using marijuana instead of the prescribed painkillers. Even former NFL players, including Denver Broncos alumni, are investigating the benefits of marijuana pain relief. A recent Washington Post article documents the effort within football circles to change the way marijuana is regulated in the NFL. The league still includes cannabis on its list of illegal substances.

The study is still preliminary given the recreational market has only been open since 2014 but initial indications confirm a connection and are hopeful that the trend of decreased opiate overdose fatalities in Colorado will continue.

Credit: The Cannabist