Gateway Weed? Smell the Stink of World War DystOpioid — An Activist Primer
Gateway Weed? Smell the Stink of World War DystOpioid — An Activist Primer
That’s the fresh smell of bullshit.
It’s the exact opposite of ganja perfuming the breeze any Sunday afternoon stroll down the Golden Gate’s August Fogust mist. But it’s just as obvious — an odor so strong it sucker punches you right in your third eye.
“Marijuana, the gateway drug” has long been a tired catchphrase of the Drug War — right up there with “Just say No” and “This is your brain….”
But after decades of drug war hysteria frying young minds sunny side up over Saturday morning cartoons, Big Pharma fed high school athletes fistfulls of Oxy, like Heroin candy out the back of an 80s cargo van — all with the blessings of the very same politicians that brought us the Drug War in a P.S.A. afterschool special.
And now we’re living through the deadliest drug epidemic in history — so many bodies in Ohio a morgue rented a storage freezer in its parking lot to handle the overflow of its dead.
Marijuana the Gateway Drug? It’s Big Pharma’s opiate scripts that truly opened the floodgates. Annual overdose deaths have now decupled — 10 fold — since 2000 when doctors first prolifically scribbled Oxy scripts like Kerouac on a Benny roll scroll.
The hypocrisy of the whole ordeal practically smacks you in the forehead like a Born Again preacher casting out his own gay lover. “WTF” says every politician who votes against cannabis legalization high on bribes from Big Pharma M.D.
World War DystOpioid
The bodies are piling sky high: 700,000 dead and counting, according to the CDC. That’s almost twice as many Americans than died in World War II — and it’s only going to get worse before it gets any better.
Stare into the eyes of a toddler in a car seat watching his parents overdose in the front seat, and consider this: Studies show cannabis may actually help those with chronic pain reduce their consumption of opiates.
One 2008 study from the Harvard Medical School found patients who took THC experience “significant relief of pain, reduced pain bothersomeness, and increased satisfaction.”
Could legal or medicinal weed help lessen overdoses? Depends on who you ask — and what day of the week. The studies scale all over the porch — like Lightning Hopkins jamming late into the night with Erykah Badu.
These 2 studies are their own evil twin, Skeksis and Mystic dancing cheek to cheek:
- A 2014 study found that states that legalized or medically allowed marijuana saw a 25% drop in opiate deaths. Researchers analyzed hospitalization records from 1999 to 2010 in 27 states, nine of which legalized medical marijuana within that time frame.
- Yet a study released in June of this year seems to contradict those findings. The new study used the same data as the one in 2014 but extended the numbers into 2017 to include several recently legalized states. While the same trend held up until 2014, the data then seemed to subsequently reverse itself in the years that followed — instead of dropping, opioid deaths actually increased 23%.
Any assumptions you try to make are coughed up all over a bloody rag — messy but obvious: This shit’s pretty fucked up.
As Brendan Saloner, co-author of the 2014 study, points out: “Specifically, Heroin and Fentanyl have been involved in a lot more overdose deaths — including deaths that also involve prescription opioids — and that could reduce the protective effect of medical cannabis.”
What’s flatlined as an EKG is people are dying at an unprecented rate in this World War DystOpioid — outpacing the casualty numbers of the Greatest Generation’s Nazi evisceration in shockingy numb statistical synthesis.
And it doesn’t take the latest ScienceDaily Harvard Churnalism to appreciate — there’s already a natural pain alternative growing out of the ground like a weed. It’s laid out in the Bible, the Tomb of King Tut, in the bong blown resin of 4,000 year old Buddhavista mummies smiling through the glad teeth of Eternity.
Seriously. The Chinese surgeon Hua T’o actually used cannabis as an anesthetic to organ draft and resection intestines on awake patients in 200 A.D.
Call us crazy bong blown hippie loons, but it seems weed and CBD just might be a viable joint pain alternative to the smack spoon rubber hose you currently find in the First Aide aisle at Walgreens, next to the Vapor Rub and SpongeBob Band-Aids.
Medicated Math: Follow the Moola
In the ecosystem of political science, one singular Law of Physics that follows politics and pharmaceuticals like Heads in a VW van: Chase the moola like its Jerry Garica.
The math is clear: Studies show access to legal weed, especially medical marijuana, leads to fewer opioid scripts. So let’s call 1+2 3: The real Gateway Drug is prescribed opiates. The fewer scripts we write, the fewer souls get sucked into the perpetual pipeline plotline of overdosing dead.
In states where medical marijuana is readily available, fewer opiates are being prescribed in doctors offices and hospitals. One study found that states with medical weed on average prescribed more than 1,800 fewer daily opioid doses for pain. Legal weed states saved $165 million on prescription drugs by 2013.
But the head smacker/scratcher is Big Pharma is pissed — and getting increasingly paranoid.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, one of the largest lobbyists against legal weed, spent over $27 million on anti-marijuana campaigns last year.
Insys Therapeutics spent $500,000 to help defeat Prop. 205, which would have legalized weed in Arizona. Their bread and butter? Subsys, a prescription painkiller derived from fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Follow the money, Honey. In the first quarter of 2018, Insys Therapeutics made $23.9 million. But the first quarter of 2019? They barely cracked $7.6 million, primarily because of a decline in legal Fentanyl sales in the face of epic death. In one small community in Huntington, West Va., 26 people overdosed in 4 hours — many from the same two block area.
But have no fear, faithful stockholders. The company is diving head first into the manufacture and commercialization of pharmaceutically synthesized cannabinoids. They’ve seen the score; they’re quite familiar with that quintessential folksong from Robert Allen Zimmerman.
Yet maintaining cannabis prohibition keeps their pharma beaker percolating and profitable. Because while it’s hard to patent a plant — its chemical derivative can be a billion dollar bankroll.
After all, it’s a weed. Teenagers grow it in closets and shoeboxes; they don’t give a rat’s shit pebble if the government still holds the patent. (Check out Patent No. 6,630,507 — we think it might be tattooed on Willie Nelson’s left butt cheek).
Good thing that same government’s got Big Pharma’s back, which tattoo for tit — has got its wallet. Nearly $7 million in pharmaceutical bribes will be paid to Congress this year. Many Senators are paid almost as much from pharma companies alone as they earn from the taxpayer.
Who works for who?
Calling the Noses of All Millennials
So if you smell bullshit — call it. But don’t just call your Senator on that same recorded line like the goddamned Jerky Boys on some TDK mixtape. Call out the system for what it is.
For the first time, Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers. Show up!
Because while there’s always Naloxone for overdoses — there’s also Voter Registration to vote out all the politicians overdosed on bribes from corporations and Big Pharma MD.
Put both in the hands of the people, especially the young — we just might have a fighting chance of winning this one.
Henry Rollins is counting on you — don’t piss him off. See ya at the polls.
A freelance writer for hire, Matt Gallagher is the face and voice behind Web Copy Magician. He enjoys Bear Blend as a tea to spiritually reconnect with nature and the therapeutic wonders of chlorophyll.
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