WOW! I get to tackle two of my favorite issues in one post.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell demonstrated today that he has been ingesting far too many hallucinogens. He replied to one of his Kentucky constituents pushing for medical marijuana legalization that he opposes such measures because drugs like pot lead to death.


His letter is available there through a link. Admittedly, he cites pot “and other drugs” as leading to death, but the constituent hadn’t addressed other drugs, only marijauna.

Now I realize there is a drug problem in this country. Treating it as mainly a criminal issue rather than the medical and social problem it really is has resulted in millions of people with criminal records for nothing more serious than their own use or casual sales, not drug kingpins with their own hit squads.

That fact infuses other problems of economics and employment in a severely detrimental way.

But this story roused my curiosity as to just how many deaths due to illegal drugs occur. I found a  chart with these numbers  for the year 2009.

Cause of death                                         Number

  1. All causes                                      2,436,652
  2. Cardiovascular diseases                  779,367
  3. Malignant neoplasms                      568,668
  4. Lack of health insurance                   44,789
  5. Drug induced                                      37,485
  6. Suicide                                                 36,547
  7. Motor vehicle accidents                      36,284
  8. Septicimia (infections)                        35,587
  9. by Firearms                                          31,224
  10. Accidental poisoning                           30,504
  11. Alcohol induced                                    23,199
  12. Homicide                                               16,591
  13. HIV                                                          9,424
  14. Viral hepatitis                                         7,652
  15. Cannabis (marijuana)                                   0

http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30 (Much detail is to be found here.)

Drug induced includes both legal and illegal drugs But marijauna, which McConnell was asked about? Exactly NONE.

But note the third leading cause of death on that chart. Lack of health insurance. The precise problem the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to address. Yet McConnell is a leading opponent of the ACA though lack of insurance causes far more deaths than the drugs he decries.

Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Hey, man! Don’t bogart that joint! Pass it over to me.

(With thanks to Country Joe and The Fish)


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