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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Updated May 7, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Final Word: Will legalization of pot lead to more heroin use?

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.

About the Author

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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