In fact, according to data from the federal government: More Americans died from drug overdose in a 12-month period than at any other point in history.
Drug overdoses were linked to more than 81,000 people’s deaths between June 2019 and May 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, jumping 18 percent compared to the previous 12-month period. Such deaths rose 20 percent or more in 25 states and the District of Columbia, the report said.
Across the board, drug use and deaths associated with drug use have increased at alarming rates. No amount of AR-15s, SWAT police, MRAPs, or any other military gear has had a hand in lowering these statistics. In fact, the increase in overdose deaths nearly perfectly coincides with the increase in militarization in the last decade and a half.
One drug, or rather plant, which is still viciously sought after in the state’s immoral war on drugs could be the key to slowing this epidemic. Cannabis.
However, in spite of some form of cannabis being legal in some fashion in well over half the country, the government still violently and with extreme prejudice continues to seek out those who dare possess it.
This violent prohibition continues despite research like the data published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases that shows this plant’s power to mitigate the opioid crisis.
As Norml reports, a team of Israeli investigators affiliated with Tel Aviv University assessed the relationship between cannabis and opioids in a cohort of patients with non-cancer specific chronic pain. All of the patients enrolled in the study were prescribed medical cannabis therapy in accordance with Israel’s medical cannabis access laws.
Among those patients who reported using opioids at baseline, 93 percent either “decreased or stopped [using] opioids following cannabis initiation.”
There are few statements more compelling for legalizing marijuana than the fact that almost all patients who were prescribed medical cannabis “decreased or stopped” using opioids.
What’s more, this newer data coincides with previous findings from nearly a dozen other studies highlighting the effects of cannabis on opioid use.
Earlier this year we reported on a similar study out of Victoria, Canada showing that the use of medical cannabis by qualified patients over a six-month period is associated with significant decreases in the use of prescription opioids and other medications.
According to data published in the journal Pain Medicine, opioid drug use patterns over a six-month period were assessed in a cohort of 1,145 authorized medical cannabis patients. Researchers discovered that baseline opioid use was reported by 28% of participants. At the completion of the assessment, opioid use among participants dropped to 11% at 6 months. What’s more, all the participants’ mean opioid dosage fell by 78 percent over the trial period.
TFTP has been reporting on the effects of cannabis on opioids for years.
As TFTP previously reported, in a another study, Melvin 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.
The researchers looked at all of the available data from the year 2000 to the year 2015. What they discovered was incredible. While the rest of the nation struggles with a burgeoning fatal opioid and heroin overdose crisis, the State of Colorado saw opioid deaths reduced while its population exploded.
It has long been stated that cannabis is a “gateway” drug, which leads users to experiment with other drugs, leading up to the most deadly, such as heroin. But the researchers in the study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the availability of safe and legal cannabis actually reduced opiate deaths:
“Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sales and use resulted in a 0.7 deaths per month…reduction in opioid-related deaths. This reduction represents a reversal of the upward trend in opioid-related deaths in Colorado.”
“This study sought to determine whether the cannabis constituent cannabidiol attenuates the development of morphine reward in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Separate groups of mice received either saline or morphine in combination with one of four doses of cannabidiol using three sets of drug/no-drug conditioning trials. After drug-place conditioning, morphine mice displayed robust place preference that was attenuated by 10 mg/kg cannabidiol. Further, when administered alone, this dose of cannabidiol was void of rewarding and aversive properties. The finding that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings.”
Those who go along with denying the evidence, while continuing to lock people in cages for a plant, will ultimately be judged by history. They will not be the heroes they claim to be now, however, they will be remembered as the ones responsible for mass incarceration, fostering the police state, and perpetuating the needless suffering of countless Americans.