On Monday, Oklahoma state prosecutors won a case against pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson; claiming the corporation pushed doctors to prescribe opioids and thus furthered the opioid epidemic, the prosecutors convinced a state judge to rule in their favor. As a result, Johnson and Johnson will have to pay over $574 million for their damages. But there’s a major issue with this verdict: the state of Oklahoma has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Their part in the drug war has caused immeasurable suffering to countless people.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang promises in his platform to “decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of opioids,” citing similar policy in Portugal to address their own addiction crisis. However, in his April 14 CNN Town Hall, moderator Ana Cabrera pushed Yang about the specifics of his drug decriminalization policy; would he decriminalize drugs like cocaine as well?
Andrew Lepore | United States
Currently, The United States is in the midst of what many call an opioid crisis. People from all backgrounds are getting addicted to, and overdosing on, opium-derived substances (Prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl, and more) at record rates. Every 11 minutes, another individual dies from an opiate overdose. In fact, the United States leads the world in drug overdoses, and opiates cause the majority of these. But kratom, an ancient drug, may offer solutions.