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posted by mrpg on Thursday November 16 2017, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the cui-bono dept.

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16 2017, @02:37PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16 2017, @02:37PM (#597712)

    is that the number of criminal dope dealers does not scale down when part of their product line becomes legal. So what you have is (from their perspective) a product line that is now no longer marketable, and so they are moving into other markets. Specifically opiods.

    Drug dealing is the same as any other market. At the end of the day you have to make your numbers.

    We all know that the "gateway drug" argument used for decades was total bullshit. But there is an economic argument that, the number of drug dealers vs. the available market share of dollars (dollars being the commodity being traded rather than the drugs) is going to stay relatively fixed regardless of which drugs are and aren't legal.

    So the bigger solution is to produce less dope dealers. But that would require parents take responsibility for the emotional abuse they allow Hollywood and the social media networks inflict on their children. Because the dope market does no where near the scale of harm being caused by those institutions. The production of dope dealers and addicts has less to do with the laws ability to lock people up, than it does with our societies effort to abuse itself. Fix that, and the other resolves itself.

    By the AMA definition of "addiction", TV is way worse than heroine ever was. And in truth, probably a lot of the revenues from dope are being used to venture fund TV shows and major motion pictures. The reason I say that, is that the formats you're seeing in a lot of mainstream content suggest a pathology that is consistent with criminal behavior.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Immerman on Thursday November 16 2017, @03:27PM (1 child)

    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday November 16 2017, @03:27PM (#597729)

    Umm, no. Dealers sell what the market is buying. They may try to convince you to buy more profitable drugs - but to do that they need to talk to you. And if you're buying your weed legally, they never get that opportunity.

    Meanwhile, almost everywhere marijuana is legalized we're seeing a decline in both opioid and alcohol use, as people move to a safer and often more pleasant recreational drug.

    Drug dealing is the same as any other market - when the market collapses, the merchants start looking for other work. In fact, they mostly already have it.

    There have been some interesting exposes on the drug trade - the fact is that drug dealing isn't actually very profitable for the dealers themselves, they mostly already have to also work a legitimate job just to make ends meet. It's quite lucrative for the major distributors, the "kingpins" and their immediate flunkies, but that's a very small part of the workforce. As you move down the hierarchy the profits dry up, and the small-time distributors are mostly just putting on a show of false wealth in order to attract would-be dealers with false promises of lucrative profits to be made in the face of very real dangers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17 2017, @12:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17 2017, @12:38AM (#597996)

      they mostly already have to also work a legitimate job just to make ends meet

      Not really. It is a good theory. But having been exposed to this world for a few years I can safely say they are just fucking morons. One dude my wife dealt with? He would get nearly 100-300 bucks a day cash tax free. He also had gov subsidies and lived section 8. I back of the envelope estimated he was clearing 3-6k a month cash on top of the 1200 or so of gov benefits he got. He had NO clue how much he had coming or going. He would regularly do his shopping at the local gas station. Flashy junk that was broke in a week. He had zero clue how to actually do better by himself. Hell I kinda felt sorry for the dipshit. I would give him financial advice and how to save money. No clue. After we got out of that world and all of his customers dried up last I heard he had to get a real job (which screwed his section 8 and SS benefits) he is making about 800 a month now (before taxes). He was begging around a few weeks ago to try to get 100 bucks to pay 500 bucks worth of speeding tickets. If they get a real job it means they lose their SS, food stamp, and section 8 benefits. The system is perversely rigged to create the very environment they want to get rid of.

      Legalizing it would actually screw a lot of people. It would also help a lot of people. I would say it would help more than harm.

      Also if anyone tells you that smoking weed will help with withdrawal symptoms does not know what they are talking about. Swing by a NA meeting and you will find out PDQ.