By now the perceptions that cannabis is a gateway to harder drug use and a depressed life have been quashed. Public opinion supports cannabis legalization while the federal government is still trying to make the case that cocaine, methamphetamine, and about 50 opiates and opioids are less dangerous and more medically beneficial than cannabis. Arguments based on fear, ignorance, money, racism and dogma justify abominable views but do little to save lives.
Fighting the War on Drugs with harm reduction as a goal opposed to incarceration and shaming is generally accepted as a more humane and respectful way to deal with the opiate addiction crisis in the United States but is eschewed in favor of mandatory minimum sentences and civil forfeiture. It’s already been proven that cannabis can help folks get off crack cocaine; the notion that less harmful substances can be replaced with safer alternatives is not new.
In America, children are being called on to save their overdosing parents and send them to jail. Across the Atlantic harm reduction is a way of life and not the theory or experiment that Americans believe it to be. According to Harm Reduction International’s website,
“Harm reduction forms an integral component of HIV and drug policy and programmes within most Western European countries. Almost every country with reported injecting drug use has key harm reduction interventions in place. Several countries also include drug consumption rooms, syringe vending machines and the prescription of injectable OST and pharmaceutical heroin among their harm reduction interventions.“
On this side of the pond any progress we had been making stalled with the ascension of Supreme Leader Trump and his merry band of billionaires. They are poised to strip away addiction services and fill private prisons with the low-hanging fruit of drug offenders (minorities). That’s American Economics for you.
Led by Prince’s untimely passing, a surge of overdose deaths attributed to the very powerful and very FDA-approved opioid Fentanyl, which is regarded as less dangerous than cannabis by the Controlled Substances Act has not done anything to curb the enthusiasm of drug manufactures. Now would seem like a primo time to consider whether a substance 50-100 times more powerful than morphine is overkill. Instead one maker of the drug donated $500,000 to defeat cannabis legalization in Arizona last November showing just how brash, ignorant and insensitive Big Pharma can be.
Prescription drug prices continue to rise and pound prices for cannabis are steadily falling. It’s just a big money hustle for the approved drug dealers of the world. A new study presented by Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford states,
“In the past twenty years, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of medical marijuana law. Using quarterly data on all fee-for-service Medicaid prescriptions in the period 2007–14, we tested the association between those laws and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries. We found that the use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied. If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion. These results are similar to those in a previous study we conducted, regarding the effects of medical marijuana laws on the number of prescriptions within the Medicare population. Together, the studies suggest that in states with such laws, Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries will fill fewer prescriptions”
Cannabis consumption reduces dependency on opiates. Whether attempting to get clean through rehabilitation, 12-step programs or sheer white-knuckling self-control the use of cannabis during such an undertaking is thought to be counter-intuitive or blasphemous among the majority. Wayward positions such as those will continue to proliferate until addiction is no longer treated as a crime and the status quo is challenged.