Legalize pot, curb opioid use by Kaitlyn Buss , The Detroit News 6/21/17

Michigan will likely get another shot at legalizing pot next fall. A petition is being circulated to collect signatures right now. Legalization efforts have stuttered for the past several years, made even more frustrating because many other states have made much progress in the same time.

But this go-around the wind may be in its sails, albeit in a morbid way.

Drug overdose deaths in 2016 likely exceeded 59,000, “the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States,” according to preliminary data from the New York Times. Doctors have been prescribing opioid painkillers like candy, and the Drug War has failed to keep more powerful opioids off the streets.

In Michigan, an average of five residents die every day from opioid overdoses. Ottawa County experienced an 85 percent increase in opioid-related overdoses in one year.

Those numbers are astounding. If lawmakers are serious about curbing this crisis, they must embrace every option available. For more information:

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