Heroin deaths have quadrupled in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. This massive increase is a result of a new wave of heroine use taking place not only in Ohio, but across the country. Heroin has also become cheaper and more plentiful in recent years, the price for a single hit falling from $10 to $4. The reason for the increased supply and lower cost can, in part, be attributable to Colorado and Washington legalizing Marijuana, and other states beginning to consider its legalization.
The legalization of Marijuana in two states, and its further decriminalization in many more, have driven the cost down to a level that the wholesale price for a kilo of the wicked weed has dropped from $100 to less than $25. Many farmers connected to the Mexican drug cartels have found it to be more profitable to grow poppies for the production of heroin, than to continue to plant their fields in cannabis. Hence the influx of more heroine and more deaths attributable to overdoses.
So for all those who say marijuana is a harmless substance, the increase in heroin use and deaths linked to the legalization of pot, is just another reason in a long list against further legalization. Along with deaths from heroin overdoses, are the deaths that Colorado and Washington are experiencing in marijuana related traffic fatalities due to its use. Since the law legalizing marijuana was passed in Colorado, that state has seen a twenty percent increase in marijuana related traffic fatalities. And Colorado law enforcement has also reported an increase in other crimes, such as domestic violence, in which marijuana use was present. Poking huge holes in pot supporters arguments that people smoking marijuana are not violent or in any other way larcenous.
Recent studies have linked the long term use of marijuana to anxiety and depression, especially in teens and young adults. Not to mention the lack of motivation, desire, and connection to everyday life that long term users experience. There are now more teens and young adults in drug rehabilitation for marijuana use than for all other drugs combined. Marijuana is in many ways more dangerous than other addictions because its addicts think the drug makes them better, and they do not see it as a detriment to their lives. Speak with addicts of most other drugs or alcohol, and they will tell you that they know their drug of choice is making their life worse not better and they want to quit. Not so with marijuana users.
All of the aforementioned would be bad enough, but is made worse by the fact that today's marijuana has levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the "high" and addicts the user, that approach 80%. The marijuana of the 60s, 70s, and 80s had THC levels of only 15-20%. The increased strength of modern marijuana, the legalization of it, and the effort by some to mitigate its dangers, has lead to greater use of drugs like heroin. Many defenders of pot say it is not a gateway drug. The fact is that while few marijuana users ever escalate to harder drug use, most who addict themselves to heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine have begun by smoking pot.
The drug debate in this country has at times been contentious, with supporters of legalized marijuana being very vociferous in their desire to have ubiquitous, cheap, and legal pot. But with the recent revelation that driving down the price of marijuana only increases the production and importation of heroin, those who support legalization are on the ultimate fool's errand.