Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 2015
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2015 Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspaper
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: B15


Regarding "Wise counsel" (Page B8, Thursday), Houston Police Chief 
Charles McClelland is to be commended for speaking out against 
marijuana prohibition.

There are positive aspects to legalization that bear repeating. 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 such as Texas 
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 "if it saves one life" has been 
used to justify all manner of drug war abuses. Legal marijuana access 
has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst,

Common Sense for Drug Policy,

Washington, D.C.
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