What if the decriminalization of marijuana not only led to more marijuana use, but more heroin use?
Not possible? fore you say that, give this a thought: it's a common belief that marijuana is a gateway drug ("lighter" drugs that, when used, lead to the use of harder drugs.) So, if you see the headline that more marijuana use and legalized weed in Colorado and other states has led to more heroin use, you might think the gateway nature of pot is the cause.
Truth is, that's not so. This is a business equation.
The wholesale price of marijuana has fallen because it's now legal to sell and use in many parts of the U.S. Pot growers in Mexico, frustrated with the fall in profits, have turned to growing more opium poppies, with which they make cheap heroin.
Add to that U.S. authorities, with the best intentions, have tried hard to stem the tide of synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone and OxyContin. In response, the real stuff is being cultivated.
One grower in Sinaloa, Mexico is quoted in the Washington Post, "It's not worth is anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization."
So much for the theory that legalizing a drug makes the problem go away. Maybe it just shifts the problem from one drug to another.