Pubdate: Thu, 03 Aug 2017
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2017 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe

Letter to the editor:

New approaches are definitely needed to battle the opioid epidemic.
More drug war is not the answer. The rise in heroin overdose deaths is
a result of a federal crackdown on prescription opioids.

Criminalization of users increases the risk of overdose deaths and
creates barriers to cost-effective drug treatment. The only winners in
the war on drugs are drug cartels.

The opioid commission created by President Trump failed to mention the
potential role of marijuana in reducing overdose deaths. Research
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows
that states with legal medical marijuana access have a 25% lower
opioid overdose death rate. The phrase "€œif it saves one life"€ has
been used to justify drug-war abuses. Legal marijuana access to ease
pain has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy; Washington, D.C.
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