Can pot help fix the opioid crisis?

This well-researched article argues that marijuana legalization might be a "fix to the nation’s opioid problems."

Proponents of marijuana prohibition have long alleged that experimentation with pot acts as a “gateway” to the use and eventual abuse of other illicit substances. But the results of a just released national poll finds that most Americans no longer believe this claim to be true.

According to a recent survey, fewer than one in three US citizens agree with the statement, “the use of marijuana leads to the use of hard drugs.” Among those respondents under the age of 65, it is fewer than one in four.

This past legislative session, efforts to decriminalize marijuana failed in the NH Senate. During deliberations, senators stated that decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana will “send a confusing message as New Hampshire tries to fight a growing substance abuse problem.” However,

Surveys of cannabis consumers residing in jurisdictions where the plant is legally accessible find that respondents typically report decreasing their use of other drugs, such as alcohol and prescription opiates.

The majority of Granite Staters understand marijuana is NOT, and never has been, a "gateway drug." The blame for this confusing message lies squarely with government--for spreading negative, untruthful propaganda about the dangers of marijuana for almost a century, even as it is becoming increasingly available as medicine.

Now is the time for a bold new strategy to solve the heroin problem in New Hampshire. We can start by decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana, something 60-72% of New Hampshirites support.

When your senators care more about “perception” than facts, when they are willing to put people in jail because they think it might “look bad” or send “the wrong message,” they need to go.

Vote out these ignorant, old-fashioned dinosaurs, and let's get to work to help those in need get well. As your senator, I will make marijuana decriminalization or legalization a priority. And, on top of that, this will help solve overincarceration and the opioid crisis, too.

Image: Screenshot of recent Union Leader poll.

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