Pubdate: Mon, 25 Jan 2016
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Copyright: 2016 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Author: Thomas Vance


We are in the midst of a heroin epidemic started when we cracked down 
on the use of legal use of pain medicine as well as the illegal usage 
as by restricting a doctor's ability to prescribe pain medicines.

Forcing patients into the illegal market has resulted in soaring 
opioid use and overdose deaths with our legislators scrambling to get 
a hold on this self-created disaster.

Overdose deaths are still in the thousands here in Kentucky, and a 
drop of a single death brings stories of possibly getting a drop of 
two deaths if we only try harder. Our lawmakers are ignoring 
legislation that can eliminate as much as 33 percent of these deaths.

The passage of a medical marijuana law creates a 25 percent drop in 
opioid overdose deaths (deaths from heroin and pain medicines) which 
grows to 33 percent by the sixth year after passage. There is also a 
5 percent drop in suicides. Simply put, in Kentucky that would be 285 
people who would still be with us.

Passage of a medical marijuana bill now more than ever should be a 
priority in the current General Assembly.

Thomas Vance, Alexandria, Ky.
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