As California legalizes marijuana, pot possession still will be prohibited at eight Border Patrol checkpoints in California, a reminder that state and federal laws collide when it comes to pot. The U.S. classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
Opioid overdoses are causing a decline in life expectancy here while it is rising in other developed countries. Opioids are prescribed in the U.S. at much higher rates than in Canada and European countries such as Germany, Britain, and France. Our flawed health insurance structure gets the blame.
The sale of marijuana for recreational use becomes legal on New Year’s Day, but administrative complications have slowed the sales application process in Los Angeles. Other cities, including Santa Cruz, San Diego, Shasta Lake, San Jose and West Hollywood, are ready to light up.
Drug deaths among African Americans in urban counties rose 41 percent in 2016, far outpacing any other racial or ethnic group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate among whites rose 19 percent.
Close to 200 civil cases have been filed by local governments in the federal courts; dozens of other suits are in state courts; attorneys general from 41 states have banded together to explore legal options.
Nationally, there were 63,632 drug deaths in 2016, nearly 20 per 100,000 people. That was 21 percent higher than the rate in 2015, when 52,404 died, a federal report found. Drug overdose death rates increased between 2015 and 2016 among all age groups, with the largest jump — 29 percent — among those ages 25-34.
Tennessee’s labor participation rate drops, partly because of the drug problem. “There are large numbers of individuals who are not working because of opioids,” said one expert. “There is a lot of collateral damage associated with this opioid problem.”
In states that have legalized pot, regulators are trying to make sure the bewildering array of products on dispensary shelves are safe to consume. The link between illness and tainted pot isn’t well established.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 217 workers died on the job last year as a result of an unintentional overdose from the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol, up from 165 in 2015. The number of accidental overdose deaths at work has nearly tripled since 2011.