The Trump administration has made fixing America's opioid epidemic a priority, yet they haven't put forward many policies to help address. But apparently if you ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions, all you have to do is get rid of marijuana.
While at an appearance at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, Sessions discussed his efforts to fix the opioid crisis. While talking about how opioids have become more addictive, he said the following, "The DEA said that a huge percentage of the heroin addictions starts with prescriptions. That may be an exaggerated number—they had it as high as 80 percent—we think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs.”
Of course, Sessions' observation is largely baseless. Studies have shown that opioid addicts who are given access to cannabis are more likely to kick their dangerous drug habits, and that states with legalized medical marijuana have less rates of opioid abuse than states that do not.
That wasn't the only idiotic thing Sessions said during his appearance. At another point he said, "Sometimes you just need to take two Bufferin or something and go to bed." Bufferin is an over-the-counter aspirin, which he basically thinks can replace the effect of opioids. He also said that he thinks "doctors are prescribing too many" opioids, neglecting to mention the pharmaceutical companies that push the drug in vulnerable areas and who profit off destroying lives.
It's concerning that the person who's probably most responsible for fighting the nation's opioid crisis seems to have such little understanding for the issues. He still thinks stopping people from smoking marijuana will lead to less people doing opioids. And no one in the Trump administration will talk him down.
Good thing states are making medical marijuana more available so we can actually have a chance to fight this epidemic.
(h/t Fresh Toast)