President Trump wants to start executing drug dealers. In order to fight the ongoing opioid crisis which kills tens of thousands of Americans annually,Trump has threatened to start actively killing the people providing the drugs.
“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty. The ultimate penalty,” Trump said last month. “And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we’re going to have to be very strong on penalties.
“We have pushers and we have drug dealers that kill hundreds and hundreds of people and most of them don’t even go to jail. If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them.”
“And that toughness includes the death penalty,” he added later.
Well, Mr. Trump had better be prepared to start executing doctors and Big Pharma CEOs, because they have killed far more than that.
The CDC reported that 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the U.S. in 2016. Combined with other overdoses, drugs killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War.
Canada’s health agency said it expects total opioid-related deaths for 2017 to hit 4,000 people, a 45% increase over 2016.
This is obviously a troubling trend that has been heading in the wrong direction.
Some 45% of those deaths are from prescription drugs, which accounts for more than all street drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine combined. Someone dies every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose.
Trump has proposed $6 billion in new funding to combat the opioid epidemic over the next two years. Along with the threat of the death penalty, he has also called on Congress to start increasing mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which would dump thousands of non-violent offenders into our already overburdened prison system.
Yet, he hasn’t gotten to the root of the problem.
I have a simple proposal for Mr. Trump. Instead of sending drug dealers to the gallows and locking up millions more offenders, we actually deal with the problem itself. You see, many drug users become addicted to opioids because they were dealing with chronic pain of some kind.
Millions of Americans have been prescribed pain-killing opioids by script-happy doctors in the pocket of Big Pharma companies. Will could start killing and jailing them as well, but somehow I don’t see that being a popular opinion.
I have a much better solution that is humane, logical, and effective.
Legalize a perfectly safe alternative for opioids when dealing with chronic pain.
But, truth be told, I neither expect or want him to legalize all drugs. I want him to lift federal regulations on marijuana. Medical marijuana especially.
It’s crazy to me that you can claim to crack down on the opioid epidemic while your Attorney General is doing all he can to end protections for medical marijuana companies operating legally in 29 states.
Medical marijuana has been shown to combat the type of chronic pain that affects over 100 million Americans. Their suffering leads them to dependence on opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin.
Medical marijuana could be a safe, effective treatment for many of these people — without the risks of addiction and death. Nobody in the history of the world has ever died of a marijuana overdose.
States that have medical marijuana laws have already proven it…
Dina Fine Maron, a medicine and health editor at Scientific American, found that states with medical marijuana programs have fewer opioid overdose-related deaths than states without medical marijuana — 25% fewer, according to a 2014 study cited in her article.
If federal mandates were lifted, more research could be done and more advancements could be made. I believe they eventually will. But, thankfully, Canada doesn’t have the same draconian marijuana laws, and one Canadian medical marijuana company is already well ahead of the pack.
And its new product could help millions — and for our purposes, make investors millions.