New Study: Drug Legalization Leads to Significant Reduction in Foster System Admissions

Richard Nixon, in his effort to silence black people and antiwar activists, brought the War on Drugs into full force in 1973. He then signed Reorganization Plan No. 2, which established the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Over the course of five decades, this senseless war has waged on. At a cost of over $1 trillion — ruining and ending countless lives in the process — America’s drug war has created a drug problem that is worse now than ever before. This is no coincidence. For years, those of us who’ve been paying attention have seen who profits from this inhumane war — the police state and cartels. For decades, millions of Black men — whose only “crime” was possession or sale of crack — were torn from their home and incarcerated. This led to millions more children growing up in fatherless environments which, in turn, put these future families in major deficits from their difficult childhoods. The effects have spanned decades and have turned once thriving communities into high-crime areas in which violence is the only constant. When we add marijuana prohibition into the equation, the damage done to the American family through the enforcement of the drug war could be considered a crime against humanity. Drug laws are now evolving but not fast enough. Despite knowing the effects of mass incarceration for victimless crimes, the state still aggressively pursues people for non-violent drug possession. Perhaps with the release of a new study out of Oxford, Mississippi published in the journal Economic Inquiry, this paradigm of destroying families over the war on drugs subsides more quickly. In the study, titled, Recreational marijuana legalization and admission to the foster-care system, a pair of economists with the University of Mississippi assessed foster care admission trends in states pre and post-legalization. What they found was both encouraging and infuriating at the same time.

Trump Administration goes After Medical Marijuana – Threat to Prescription Opioid Drug Sales?

As soon as President Trump announced his Attorney General (AG) appointee as Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama, there was tension among medical cannabis advocates. Would Trump honor his campaign comments about state’s rights regarding medical marijuana, or would his new Attorney General be unleashed to increase the war on drugs using cannabis as his first target? Unfortunately, Trump’s Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions has been quoted as saying heroin is only slightly worse than marijuana and "good people don’t smoke marijuana." And as the United States Attorney General, he is head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which houses the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). News reports this week revealed a letter Sessions sent to Congress last month seeking funding to go after medical cannabis operations in states where medical marijuana is legal. “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote in a letter to Republican and Democratic House and Senate leadership. “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.” Sessions reasons for going after medical cannabis were quickly exposed as false by many in the media. Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote: Sessions’s citing of a “historic drug epidemic” to justify a crackdown on medical marijuana is at odds with what researchers know about current drug use and abuse in the United States. The epidemic Sessions refers to involves deadly opiate drugs, not marijuana. A growing body of research (acknowledged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) has shown that opiate deaths and overdoses actually decrease in states with medical marijuana laws on the books. With the well-known national epidemic of opioid prescription drug abuse spiraling out of control, and medical marijuana's documented evidence of reducing opioid addiction, one has to wonder if the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers are behind this new emphasis to go after medical marijuana? Is medical marijuana a threat to their legal opioid drug sales?