Pubdate: Sat, 31 Jan 2015
Source: Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Chillicothe Gazette
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Jan. 24 editorial on the disturbing increase in
overdose deaths in Ross County, policymakers are going to have to
think outside of the drug war box if they are serious about reducing
overdose deaths.

New research published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association shows that states with open medical marijuana access have
a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than marijuana
prohibition states. This research finding has huge implications for
states like Ohio that are grappling with prescription narcotic and
heroin overdose deaths.

The substitution effect was documented by California physicians long
before the JAMA research. Legal marijuana access is correlated with a
reduction in opioid and alcohol abuse. The marijuana plant is
incapable of causing an overdose death. Not even aspirin can make the
same claim, much less alcohol or prescription narcotics. The phrase
"=C2=80=C2=9Cif it saves one life"=C2=80=C2=9D has been used to justify a
ll manner of drug
war abuses. Legal marijuana access has the potential to save thousands
of lives.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, Va.
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