President Trump has declared a national public health emergency due to the opioid crisis that is killing nearly 100 Americans a day.
Opioid-related overdoses keep rising in the United States. Between 2000 and 2015 more than 500,000 people died from drug overdose and over 60% of drug overdoses involve opioids, averaging at about 91 Americans dying from an opioid overdose every single day.
About a 1000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids every day.
Many experts say that cannabis is the most effective solution to help to get people off opioids and saving their lives. As much as 25% of patients, who get on prescription opioids for long-term pain management struggles with addiction.
The National Institute of Health states on its website that “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.
Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.”
Do the math on that. If nearly a 100 people die every day and if there was a federal medical cannabis law, about 25 people could be saved daily just to start with.
Despite the evidence, medical cannabis is not being actively considered as a solution to the problem.
President Trump brought up examples of alcohol problems and cigarette addiction and then suggested that saying ‘no’ in the beginning was the most important thing.
Here is a snippet of his speech:
“Effective today, my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law and while I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis.
I learned myself, I had a brother Fred, great guy, best-looking guy, best personality – much better than mine – but he had a problem. He had a problem with alcohol and he would tell me don’t drink… don’t drink. He was substantially older and I listened to him and I respected, but he would constantly tell me… don’t drink. He would also add, don’t smoke. But he would say it over and over and over again. And to this day I never had a drink and I had no longing for it. I have no interest in it. To this day I never had a cigarette. Don’t worry those are only two of my good things, I don’t want to tell you about the bad things. There is plenty of bad things too.
But he really helped me, I had somebody that guided me and he had a very very very tough life because of alcohol. Believe me very very tough tough life.
He was a strong guy but it was a tough – tough thing he was going through.
But I learned because of Fred, I learned and that’s what I think is so important.
This was an idea I had where if we can teach young people not to take drugs, just not to take them… when I see friends of mine that are having difficulty with not having that drink at dinner, where it’s literally almost impossible for them to stop, I said to myself, I can’t even understand it, why would that be difficult. But we understand why it is difficult.
The fact is if we can teach young people and people generally, not to start, it is really really easy not to take them and I think that will end up being our most important thing.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is well known for his very limited knowledge of cannabis and drugs in general, embraced the opportunity and literally reverted back to the eighties to Nancy Reagan’s failed “Just Say No” slogan.
“People should say no to drug use. They have got to protect themselves first,” Sessions was quoted saying.
Positioning addiction as a personal failure, despite the fact that nearly 250 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2013 alone is doomed to fail, just as Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign failed.
It would seem obvious that the current out of control ‘epidemic’ that is getting significantly worse from year to year would point out the dramatic failure of the war on drugs and its ignorance towards the real problems.
Just say no when the problem is actually rooted in prescription medication.
The lack of willingness to solve the problem is strikingly obvious. There is overwhelming evidence on how the Just Say No campaign failed due to its ignorance of the real problem and placing the responsibility on the individual.
In this case, the individuals happened to be prescribed those drugs by their doctors which makes it questionable how the saying ‘no’ strategy can work.
Government agencies are aware and reporting on 24.8% drop in opioid overdoses in legal medical cannabis states, making cannabis an obvious solution that could save 25 lives a day.
Despite that fact, Sessions comes out not only suggesting the ignorant and failed ‘just say no’ idea, but also blaming cannabis as part of the problem, while it is the actual solution.
“When you talk to police chiefs, consistently they say much of the addiction starts with marijuana. It’s not a harmless drug.”
This statement is obviously based on a failed war on drugs ideology, as cannabis has been scientifically proven not to be a gateway drug, as a matter of fact, it is proving to be helping addicts getting off other drugs.
“We’ve got to reestablish, first, a view that you should just say no,” Sessions said. “People should say no to drug use.”
As if it was that easy to say no to a drug that was prescribed to you by your doctor. You have to be completely ignorant and disconnected from facts and humanity to not only show complete lack of care but to actively work against a solution.