States' addiction promotion


From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in

As they did with gambling (which can be highly addictive), states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, are jumping into the marijuana business. Massachusetts (along with Maine and Vermont) has fully legalized pot use and Rhode Island and Connecticut have decriminalized its “recreational’’ use. Meanwhile, it’s full speed ahead for “medical marijuana,’’ which some truly sick people use, along with others who just want to get stoned.

For the states, it’s all about trying to find new ways of increasing government revenue without raising broad-based taxes, which is usually political poison. It’s a regressive way of doing it since those wanting to gamble and smoke pot tend to be in lower socio-economic levels. Some old-fashioned types might even call this addiction promotion immoral.

Pot promoters, for their part, have long asserted that it’s not a “gateway drug’’ – an assertion that has always struck me as dubious. Perhaps they should read a new paper, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which researchers looking at states that enacted medical marijuana laws saw a 23 percent increase in opioid-overdose deaths. There are lots of people with addiction tendencies. And use of one drug leads, in many people, to a desire for stronger ones.

Other studies have shown a high incidence among opiate addicts of the use and abuse of other drugs, be they amphetamines, alcohol, nicotine or others.

To read the study, please hit this link.