WATCH: Attorney General Jeff Sessions says his goal for 2018 is to see a further decline in prescriptions of opioids, and says, "we think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs." pic.twitter.com/paWSsEuNrl
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 7, 2018
I want to know what drugs Sessions ingested before unspooling this monologue. https://t.co/pTAanxsMcE
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) February 7, 2018
While everyone was busy gawking at the noisier acts in Donny Dollhand’s Thirteen-Ring Circus, the Malevolent Leprechaun decided to cosplay Marcus Welby, M.D. The current uptick in white suburban narcotic deaths doesn’t change the party line for Sessions’ biggest fans: Addicts are weak-willed parasites, led down the wrong path by swarthy drug cartels and shuffling ghetto drug pushers!
For the rebuttal, Julia Lurie at Mother Jones:
At a Heritage Foundation event celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday this week, Jeff Sessions made a familiar argument: Easy access to marijuana is helping fuel the opioid epidemic. The Drug Enforcement Agency says that the vast majority of heroin addiction starts with prescription painkillers, he acknowledged, but “We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs, too.”
Accordingly, last month, Sessions rescinded the Obama-era guidance to deprioritize prosecuting dispensaries in states that had legalized marijuana.
But a growing body of evidence suggests that legal access to medical marijuana could in fact help reduce overdose deaths. The latest study, published by the RAND Corporation this week, found that states that allowed liberal access to marijuana through legally protected dispensaries saw reduced deaths from opioid overdoses. States that legalized the drug but didn’t allow dispensaries didn’t see the same pattern.
Among states with dispensaries, those that legalized medical marijuana before 2010 saw larger reductions in opioid deaths than those that legalized it afterwards. The authors hypothesize that’s because the late adopters tend to have more stringent rules that make it harder to get marijuana, requiring patients to take additional steps such as registering with the state or repeatedly seeing a doctor to confirm a need for medical marijuana. (The researchers examined state-level data from 1999 to 2013, so weren’t able to gauge the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana altogether.) “The key feature of medical marijuana law that facilitates a reduction in overdose rates is a relatively liberal allowance for dispensaries,” the researchers concluded…
— POLITICO (@politico) February 6, 2018
White House is responding to the opioid crisis by cutting budgets, sidelining D+R experts in favor of an ad hoc group of political operatives w/no organizational capacity, no expertise in opioids, no experience in public management. I don’t understand any of this. https://t.co/L298I2zOgc
— Harold Pollack (@haroldpollack) February 6, 2018
Because they want people to exclusively blame immigrants and people of color for a crisis driven by criminalized addiction, American demand for hard drugs, and big pharma's gleeful enabling of prescription abuse. https://t.co/FxojD3E1Ac
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) February 6, 2018