"Unorthodox" settlement proposed in nationwide lawsuit over opioid crisis

A bottle of pills, spilling out onto a table
Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Lawyers involved in the enormous, nationwide lawsuit against opioid manufacturers have proposed a "novel" settlement arrangement, the New York Times reports. Every local and county government in the country would be part of it — not just the 1,650 governments that are currently suing.

Why it matters: This structure was designed to prod drug companies "to negotiate a settlement in earnest, something they have largely resisted," according to the Times. Settling with all these cities now would stave off future lawsuits from those local governments. But states and individuals could still bring their own suits.

Go deeper: Opioid addiction is drastically undertreated

Study: Medical marijuana may not help alleviate opioid crisis

In this image, a line of clear containers containing marijuana are lined up. The first one is labeled "Merry Berry."
Inventory at the medical marijuana dispensary Takoma Wellness Center in Maryland on August 30, 2016. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

States that have legalized medical marijuana have seen more opioid overdose deaths, according to a new study reported on by Vox — the opposite of what a 2014 study found.

The state of play: The previous study suggested that when people could use cannabis to treat pain instead of opioids, it led to less overdoses. It was embraced by some state lawmakers. However, the researchers who conducted the latest study say that there's probably no relationship between state marijuana laws and opioid deaths.

Go deeper: The states using medical marijuana for opioid substitutes