When certain drugs are outlawed, it doesn’t stop people from wanting those drugs. They either turn to the black market, or try to find some kind of legal substitute for their drug of choice. The pharmaceutical industry is more than willing to fill that niche by producing drugs that, while legal, are often much more harmful, expensive, and addictive than the “street” drugs they replace. That’s probably why the number of Americans who die by overdosing on prescription drugs, has more than doubled since 2001.
So when illegal drugs gain some kind of legal status, it’s not surprising that prescription overdose deaths would fall in those states. At least, that’s what a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found. Researchers looked at death certificates in every US state, and averaged the number of fatalities caused by opioid analgesics, arguably the most harmful prescription painkiller. They found that states that had legalized medical marijuana, had collectively 24.8% fewer opioid deaths when compared to states where pot is still illegal. They also found that this trend is still in progress, and continues to grow over time in legal states.
It just goes to show that the drug war isn’t just violating our rights. It is quite literally killing thousands of people. People who are in pain are given the choice to endure their misery, or pay exorbitant fees for addictive drugs that will probably put them in an early grave. But I guess the nanny state know what’s best for us, right?
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .