Evidence is rapidly emerging that legal access to marijuana can help reduce opiate addiction and overdoses. According to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, opiate overdoses are down by 25% in states where marijuana is legally available. Another study in the Humbolt Journal of Social Relations came to similar conclusions after discovering that "marijuana can be an effective “reverse gateway drug — one whose usage can help wean addicts to opiates or prescription medication from those far more dangerous substances."
As the Trump administration moves to enforce the federal prohibition of marijuana, it is clear that doing so would only increase the damage of our nation's opiate problem. This is an important moment in the balance between state and federal rights, and we must do everything we can to support those states whose drug policies stand on the side of science and harm reduction.