Newly sworn in Mass Gov Charlie Baker “vows to tackle the problem of drug addiction in the state,” the governor declared in his inaugural address held January 8. The politician who earned my vote cited the loss of a young life to air one of his pet projects. He stands firmly against death by opiates and addiction.
In this case, the young life had belonged to 19-year old Evan Easton, who was prescribed opiates (the first grave mistake) to deal with pain he suffered after undergoing “a routine medical procedure.” The addiction to opiates didn’t become apparent, apparently, until after the young man died of overdose to heroin. Talk about a gateway drug!
Much maligned marijuana is also claimed by people (most of whom came of age during the Eisenhower era) to be a so-called gateway drug.
Dear Charlie, please be advised that marijuana smokers across the globe, all 147 million of us, or 2.5% of the world’s population according to a low estimate by the World Health Organization, would disagree with this uninformed, outdated and absurd position. Is this really your position too?
Opiates are a gateway to heroin, as poor Evan showed us. To claim that pot is a gateway drug to harder drugs is like saying that eating spinach is a gateway to eating bacon.
Dear Charlie, you say you want to “tackle the problem” of drug overdose and opiates. We must wonder…. How do you plan on fighting opiate use? Do you plan to take on Big Pharma single-handedly? Your office will issue a press release to admonish their drug-making apparatuses, supply chains and patented formulas? No. Do you plan to hog-tie opiate drug pushers, aka Doctors? No. Do you plan to question their efficacy? Honorable, but only when pigs fly.
Dear Charlie, there is a solution to your battle plans. There is a solution to opioid abuse. There is a solution to untimely death by addiction. There is an alternative to taking addictive opiates. A solution that is medically non-addictive, to boot.
A solution that has never once recorded a single fatality in 2,000 years of human consumption. Not one, Charlie, not one. The solution is 5 million years old and designed with receptors that mimic the brain’s own receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. They have co-evolved, Darwin-like.
It’s an organic plant that grows like a weed on God’s green earth, for crying out loud. Before it was made illegal in 1937 it was prescribed regularly as “Tincture of Cannabis” by pharmacists to people who suffered from ailments like incapacitating migraine headaches and insomnia, drawing information listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia published in 1820. But never mind that.
What we do need to mind is your position on medical marijuana. Last time we heard, you were against it.
We have your inaugural solution to “tackling” the opiate and overdose problem.
Governor Baker, if you are genuinely serious about fighting opiates and overdose, you will make it your priority, upon your directive and power of your office, to expedite the chronic feet-dragging (and financially punitive system) exercised by Mass DPH — to get our 14 dispensary licensees up and running healthily opened and operational.
Pronto. Before another young man or young woman succumbs to opiates and addiction.
Reports the Center for Disease Control:
“Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.”
Hector Cross is a blogger for 420PR Group, a member of the Cannabis Society of Mass and a student at the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis.