14.09.2015 Author: Valery Kulikov

Legal Drug Abuse is Gaining Steam in America

45345344The news is out that the marijuana trade has become the fastest growing sector of the US economy, and American politicians have played a pivotal role in its development. There’s little room left for doubt that the push for the legalization of marijuana in all the 50 states will continue and in the coming years the marijuana market will overtake the organic food market. Embarked on a path of drug legalization, political and business circles in the United States are not ashamed of the fact that it is not the health and welfare of their fellow citizens that they are concerned about, in fact all they want is to get in line in time to profit from this new “gold rush” that may not only destroy thousands of lives but the country itself. Such are the insidious ways of “American-style democracy” and its new “business model”.

Since 1971, when President Richard Nixon started a crusade against drug cartels, no significant progress has been made to date, therefore the United States remains the world’s leading drug user. Over the past four decades American authorities have spent a whooping sum of one trillion dollars to fight drug abuse. According to the UN, there’s 6.2 million cocaine users in the United States, 40% of high school students have tried marijuana. Americans spend 40.6 billion dollars annually to acquire marijuana, while cocaine is ranked second with 28.3 billion being spent on it a year. The enormous size of the American illicit drug market is a guarantee that neither sitting US authorities, nor the opposition will ever find an answer to this plague.

According to the CNBC one in ten Americans smoke marijuana before going go to work. The study was conducted by mashable.comand the survey company SurveyMonkey. During this survey experts studied the use of marijuana and the prescription of this drug that is displayed by regular people. It was found that 9.7% of Americans smoke marijuana before they go to the office. At the same time 81% of those purchase marijuana illegally. The sales of marijuana have greatly increased in America recently, when it can be legally purchased within the territory of a considerable number of states for “recreational purposes”.

Reuters has recently stated that the number of American students who smoke marijuana every day or nearly every day has peaked, reaching a number not seen in the previous four decades. “It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students,” said Lloyd Johnston who was behind the study. “And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.” The weakening restrictions on the use marijuana advertises this drug to teenagers as a potentially harmless substance, researchers suggest. In 2014, only 35% of high school graduates stated that the regular use of marijuana is considered dangerous, while in 2006 this reply was provided by 55% respondents. The year 2014 also saw a sharp increase (up to 41%) in the number of college students who use illegal drugs in general, including cocaine. The reason for such a leap in numbers is the changing legislation on marijuana.

According to The New York Times, a growing number of working people in the US in pursuit of productivity abuse drugs that are generally prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating illegal narcotic stimulants and marijuana. According to the data obtained by Timberline Knolls, those drugs used to be abused by students, but recently more and more often Americans aged 25-45 have started using them regularly.

Additional research conducted by Gallup shows that there’s a direct interconnection between the use of drugs and the well-being index, and those who use drugs tend to live worse than those who are clean. It is obvious that there’s a growing number of people in the United States who use drugs or medications in an attempt to alter their mood and forget about their financial, social and physical problems. Almost every day psychotropic substances are being used by 28,1% of the population of West Virginia, 25.9% in Rhode Island, 24.5% in Kentucky, 24.2% in Alabama, 22.9% in Louisiana, 22.8% in South Carolina, 22.3 % in Mississippi.

All these factors are leading to a scary conclusion that can be found in The New England Journal of Medicine, which stated that against the background of the national epidemic of abuse of painkillers and psychotropic drugs, along with the legalization of marijuana, the number of drug addicted babies being born in the United States has increased by 4 times in the last decade, which means that back in 2012 a sick baby was born in America every 25 minutes. According to the Vanderbilt University all the expenses connected with this phenomenon cost American taxpayers 1.5 billion dollars a year.

However, these costs and troubles of ordinary people the United States all pale in comparison with the income of certain political and business circles in the US that continue lobbying and developing the legal drugs market. Thus, analysts from research and investment group The ArcView Group (Oakland, California), associated with the cannabis industry, found that the US market in the field of legal marijuana in 2014 has increased by 74% compared with the previous year and amounted to 2.7 billion, while in 2015 this market will grow even bigger. At the same time it is projected that by 2019 all legal marijuana regional markets will be making 11 billion dollars a year. “At this point, it’s hard to imagine that any serious businessperson who is paying attention hasn’t spent some time thinking about the possibilities in this market” – said Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group.

Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.