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Jul-04-2011 16:07printcomments

Legal Drug Deaths and Marijuana Dangers

So much ado about nothing while real danger lurks nearby.

marijuana oxycontin

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - The Oregonian June 26 2011 published "Pharmacy robberies sweep the US" which is about OxyContin in robberies of pharmacies with the robbers killing any possible witnesses. Kudos for telling the truth. These robberies occurred 686 times in 2010 and will probably go up this year as the OxyContin problem is widely endemic.

About 1.3 million pills were stolen in 2010 and the street price for one OxyContin pill went up to $80.

The article also pointed out that marijuana users were more than 7 million, it is certainly much higher. Of these 7 million-plus Americans, no difficulties have manifested that would compare to what we see with OxyContin- and not in 5,000 years of known use, for that matter.

Emergency room visits for prescription drug overdoses has gone up to 300,000 per year. It is doubtful that very many (if any at all) were for marijuana.

The above death statistics about OxyContin robberies are totally separate from the ongoing deaths from accidental overdoses from taking one too many Oxy pills.

It is also well known that there are patients who were legitimately given Oxy, who quickly became addicted and then shoot up intravenously to get a quick fix.

These are the Oxy addicts who will pay anything for relief of pain or the devils of withdrawal. writer Marianne Skolek on this subject has written many articles about the addictions and deaths of even children from this drug. The newspapers frequently write about the extremely wide and heavy use of Oxy and the concurrent deaths.

Oxy is the worst drug example of this but it appears that Purdue Pharma being fined 700 million dollars for false advertising still lobbies for and insists that it is a safe drug.

According to Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D. of the Pain Physician Journal:

From 1997 to 2004, there were marked increases in sales, therapeutic use, and non-medical use of oxycodone/OxyContin, as well as in overall opioid-related deaths. During these years there was:
[1] a 556% increase in the sales of oxycodone,
[2] a 500% increase in therapeutic grams of oxycodone used,
[3] a 568% increase in the non-medical use of OxyContin [comment- this most likely relates not only to widespread availability and increased recreational use, especially among young people, but to the behavioral characteristics of a growing population of newly-created addicts, as well as to diversion and sale of the drugs by those motivated for economic gain, and a rising volume of drug-related crime].
[4] a 129% increase in opioid-related deaths [without heroin or cocaine]: from 1942 deaths in 1999, to 4451 deaths in 2002 [the last year this was calculated].

Now that the pharmacy workers and customers are being killed during robberies I wonder if Congress will do something.

I kind of doubt it, because Purdue's lobbyists are spending massive amounts of money to keep it on the market.

By the way, marijuana itself and medical marijuana are not causing any kind of similar harm to users. The biggest danger to any marijuana user is hassling an arrest by DEA goon cops and local policemen, even those goons have shot and killed several growers and users.



Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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somebody February 13, 2013 8:58 am (Pacific time)

why wont they let people do what they want to do because its your boy you make the decians so why should other people care let them take care of them selfs if you dont want to do it dont.

Brandt Hardin July 7, 2011 1:09 pm (Pacific time)

Pharmaceutical companies cause OVER 100,000 deaths each year from the drugs they push on the public… that’s 10 times more deaths than from street drugs. Does EVERYone need a pill for something? The real drug cartels moving their product on unassuming victims are the Big Pharma Companies, averaging over $25 Billion in revenue EACH. Their agenda and money has corrupted Washington and the FDA. Voice your concern with me at

Duncan20903 July 4, 2011 8:57 pm (Pacific time)

Dr. Leveque you seem to have missed a prime opportunity to point out that one of the most frequent reasons that legitimate choose to become medicinal cannabis patients is because they perceive that it's better for them in the long run to minimize their need for medicinal opioid prescriptions of oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and whatever other drugs their pain management provider has been dispensing to them like they were MandMs.

To me, one of the most ironic things about the absolute and intransigent refusal of so many people to recognize cannabis as a medicine because they think it an "excuse" to get high is that the alternative for chronic pain are opioids. For some reason they prefer junkies to potheads.

Between 1996 and 2009 the number of Californians in "treatment" for opioid addiction fell by 46.88%. It's even more impressive when you figure in the 15.96% increase in California's population in that same time period.

That reduction is not part of a nationwide trend either. New York suffered an increase of 111% of New Yorkers in "treatment" for opioids, Massachusetts was up 99% and Illinois must have been offering tax credits to get junkies to move to Illinois as their junkies in "treatment" cohort expanded a whopping 565%. Just this year the powers that be in Illinois declined to pass a cannabis patient protection law because they "didn't want to be like California". Go figure that one out.

Lets not forget that Prop 36 passed in 2000 requires 1st and 2nd time drugs conviction be sent to "treatment" rather than to prison.

To get different States statistics just change the State postal code and the year to ca09.htm or ny96.htm to verify my numbers:

Richard Matteoli July 4, 2011 7:01 pm (Pacific time)

The prohibition efforts against the medical use of Marijuana is an example of socializing punitiveness. Those who drive this effort have put themselves in a position of power to control others. The achievement of their efforts is for a sense of domination giving themselves a sense of superiority with self-glorification.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.