Today, against the backdrop of the epidemic abuse of painkillers and psychotropic drugs in the US it’s becoming increasingly clear that the results of almost five decades of the so-called war on drugs are nowhere to be found.
The legalization of marijuana in an ever increasing number of American states, according to many experts, is governed by desire of US political and business circles to get filthy rich by abusing the so-called “new gold rush”. As marijuana sales are skyrocketing out of control, there’s a real risk that not only the US population will be destroyed in the opiating smoke, but the people of other as other states as well, since Washington has been actively promoting the ways of “American-style democracy” and its new “businesses”.
It’s hardly a secret to anyone that the so-called legal marijuana sales have become the fastest growing industry in the US today. It’s already been announced that consumers spent 53.3 billion dollars on cannabis in North America last year. The first-of-its-kind analysis, compiled by ArcView Market Research, spans legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets across both the United States and Canada. At around 46 billion dollars, the illegal market constituted 87% of marijuana sales in 2016, dwarfing both medical and legal sales.
Maine has become the eighth state to eliminate criminal penalties specific to the adult possession and personal use of cannabis. Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have previously adopted voter-initiated laws legalizing the private consumption and sale of cannabis by adults. The District of Columbia also permits adults to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of marijuana in private residences.
However, the American Thinker provides us with an overview of the possible consequences of such decisions, that have already hit a number of US states. For instance, Washington, DC, did indeed legalize marijuana on February 26, 2015, and since then, violent crime has increased substantially. After 20 years of nearly continuous decline, the number of homicides in DC last year shot up 54% in the legal pot era. The average number of crimes per year during the post-legal pot period (2013-2015) is 17% higher than the three-year period (2010-2012) before. It’s been announced that comparable pre-/post-pot legalization crime patterns can be observed in Denver, which is certainly suggestive based on the data from these geographically distinct regions.
It’s really disturbing that at least six million Americans – or 2.5% of adults in the US – suffer from “marijuana use disorder”, according to a new study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
There’s no doubt that the opioid crisis is getting so serious in the US that it can no longer be ignored. The Daily Caller would note that nearly half of young people who inject heroin into their bodies said they abused prescription opioids before using heroin, according to three separate studies cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Heroin overdoses and deaths transpiring from them have been increasing at a rapid rate in recent years. Heroin-related deaths in Maryland, which has the fifth highest rate of deaths from drug overdoses in America, tripled in just four years from 2011 to 2015.
In turn, the Fox News announces that the rate of babies born addicted to opioids increased by 538% between 2006 and 2015 in Missouri, and the problem is rapidly getting worse. At least eight in every 1,000 babies born will now suffer opioid withdrawals in the state, according to a report released by the Missouri Hospital Association Tuesday. Medical experts say the situation is rapidly deteriorating, driven by the national opioid epidemic and the continued over-prescribing of pain medication to expecting mothers, reports FOX 4. Officials in Ohio say that opioids are the main driver of a 19% spike in the number of kids removed from parental custody for foster care since 2010.
We are now being told that heroin use fuels surge of ER visits among Californian teenagers. One of the unintended consequences of the latest prescription drug epidemic has been the increase in heroin addiction and overdoses, in part due to the transition from prescription opioids to less expensive heroin street drugs. Heroin deaths have continued to increase steadily by 67% since 2006 and account for a growing share of the total opioid-related deaths in California. By some estimates, one pill of oxycodone can cost 80 dollars on the street, while a bag of heroin costs 5 dollars.
The United States is learning the harsh way the old saying that once the genie is out of the bottle, it is hard to put it back in.
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”