There are those people who continue to insist that marijuana is a gateway to stronger drugs. And some law enforcement agencies still focus on marijuana, while opiates are largely ignored! But as cannabis legalization expands across the country, researchers continue to study the potential of cannabinoid therapy. Recent studies indicated that cannabis may prove helpful against a wide variety of addictions. 21 million Americans are currently affected by addiction to alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, plus prescription drugs. This costs the public approximately $800 billion dollars every year. The number of accidental deaths by overdose has even tripled in the last fifteen years. Although several argue that replacing dependence on one thing for another is not an effective treatment, the addiction to marijuana is severely rare. However this natural substance is far less addictive than cigarettes or other legal substances, however according to the DEA, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Cannabinoid therapy has the potential of lowering rates of addiction plus overdoses. Legalizing cannabis has already reduced the number of overdose deaths in this country. In 2014, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the states offering legal cannabis had nearly 25% fewer overdose-related deaths. And there was also a decline in the number of prescriptions filled to treat depression, anxiety, seizures, and nausea. Medical marijuana has already saved the Medicare program millions of dollars, too. Legalizing marijuana nationwide offers a potential savings of approximately $470 million a year. And while the cost savings is easily a benefit, the legalization of marijuana is also saving lives. There is new hope for millions of people suffering from addiction.