Study Proves Legalization of Cannabis Has Halted Thousands of Opiod-Related Deaths
A new study details a drastic reduction in opiod-related deaths after one state legalized cannabis.
While the entire nation struggles with unfathomable deaths resulting from opiod drug use – largely fueled by lobbyists and Big Pharma companies who have poured almost $2.5 billion into funding members of Congress who support opiod drugs in the last decade – one state actually saw opiod deaths drastically decline.
In a study only recently published in the peer reviewed journal, American Public Health Association, titled, Recreational Cannabis Legalization and Opiod-Related Deaths in Colorado, 2000 – 2015, researchers D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher, and Alexander C. Wagenaar, set out to see if any association existed between Colorado’s legalization of marijuana and opioid-related deaths in the state.
Even as Colorado’s population exploded, likely due to the legalization of recreational cannabis, its opiod deaths went down.
Though the researchers state that further analysis is required to ensure that this was not a mere statistical anomaly, they also state their findings with 95% confidence, meaning they don’t think the reversal in the opiod death trend was due to some other unknown factor.
“After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following 2 years,” write authors Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher and Alexander C. Wagenaar.
In November of 2000, voters of the state of Colorado passed Amendment 20 to the state’s constitution, codified in article XVIII, section 14. This article legalized limited amounts of medical marijuana for patients and their primary caregivers.
Despite a renewed attack by the federal government against the further legalization of cannabis, Colorado passed another law in 2012, allowing the recreational use of marijuana.
Now, both tourists and residents can purchase 28 grams of cannabis in a single transaction in Colorado.
Meanwhile, annual overdose deaths from heroin alone have surpassed deaths from both car accidents and guns, with other opioid overdose deaths rising alarmingly.
Drug overdoses have since become the leading cause of death of Americans under 50, with two-thirds of those deaths from opioids.
And deaths from recreational or medical cannabis? Even traffic-related deaths have dropped 11 percent in states where marijuana has been legalized. A 12-percent reduction was realized for drivers aged 25-44.
While it is completely possible to use cannabis irresponsibly (here’s how to do it mindfully), it does not cause the same damage as opiod drugs, or even alcohol. According to one study, alcohol presents the highest risk of death, followed by nicotine, cocaine and heroin, suggesting the risks of alcohol consumption have likely been grossly underestimated in the past.
So, what are the real stealers of life, health, and well-being? It certainly isn’t cannabis. The culprits in order are: alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and heroine along with other opiod drugs, and maybe a car accident, or freak incident might get you. Certainly a toke won’t.
If research into Colorado’s decline in opiod-realted deaths is corroborated in other states where cannabis has been legalized, then the Feds have no backbone to their faulty rhetoric behind the Drug Wars they’ve not been able to stop. The real drug war is happening right underneath our noses.
For those who don’t know, former Nixon policy advisor John Ehrlichman admitted that the “War on Drugs” was a creation of the Deep State to control the anti-war efforts (hippies) and African Americans.
When asked about the effort to criminalize marijuana, Ehrlichman stated, “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” Marijuana has been used to marginalize and imprison people ever since.