A quick look at the leading causes of death in America illustrates a critical truth: Something truly is amiss with what we’ve been led to believe regarding the dangers of licit and illicit drugs. Of you, the reader, I ask only this: Before you cling tightly to the beliefs you were likely raised with, arm yourself with the below facts and then decide where the truth really lies. In fact, the latest research has finally started to tell the truth; alcohol is more damaging to the brain than marijuana.
|Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs||82,7243|
|All Licit & Illicit Drug-Induced Deaths||16,9266|
|Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs||16,5007|
|Marijuana/Entheogens||8 9, 10|
|Legal Herbal Supplements||011|
I understand that many of us will look at the above table and have an identical initial reaction: Outright dismissal of these numbers, creating whatever justification necessary in order to avoid comprehending what is presented here. We have all been so conditioned and indoctrinated with false information that we all have developed an intrinsic fear of anything labeled “illicit” or “hallucinogenic” by our government or the mainstream media. But, let’s just let go of all that conditioning for just a few minutes and take a second look at the chart above.
Let us consider what these numbers are really saying: legal and prescription drugs cause thousands more deaths each year than every illegal drug combined. In other words, those substances we are permitted to purchase and possess with no legal consequences are much more dangerous than those substances which carry with them great censure and legal ramifications.
Given this information, let us begin to ask a few key questions, one of which might be: Why would the government lie to us?
The answer is simpler and far more terrifying than one might expect. Western society is a culture of fear. If the masses are fearful, then we are FAR easier to control. The last thing that any controlling power such as governments and organized religions want is for us to realize that we have the power to touch the hand of God all on our own. Humans were once deeply connected to the Earth and all of the beings that inhabit the Earth. We respected nature, we understood it, and we were an integral part of it. We’ve been led to believe that our mutual human ancestors were “primitive,” with no sense of all those things that make us uniquely human.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although we might deny it, there is a gaping hole in many Westerners’ spiritual worlds, and it causes us a great deal of physical and mental pain. We can’t figure out why we feel so empty and unhappy, and we seek solace and comfort in cigarettes, alcohol, prescription medication, junk food, and yes, illegal drugs. Meanwhile, everyone is effected by this great loss of spirit – men and women can’t figure out how to get along, as evidenced by the divorce rate in the United States, which is now over 50%. We can’t figure out why the majority of the population of the U.S.A. is so overweight, or why cancer and diabetes is at a historical, and all-time high.
The reason behind this alienation from self, from others, and from the planet is clear: We’ve lost our connection with the Earth, the planet from which we have arisen and into which we will dissolve after death. We’ve been led to believe that we are separate from nature, that we are somehow superior to nature, but the truth is that we are not only a part of nature, we are part of the Divine.
We’ve been given a number of tools to help us dissolve our ego and to remember that we’re part of a greater whole, part of a Divine plan that is much greater than any one of us. But that Divine Plan isn’t revealed by the evangelists who literally generate hundreds of millions of dollars from their “ministries” each year; the Divine Plan is there for each one of us to discover and unravel all on our own, if we know where to look.
Ancient peoples knew where to look. American Indians knew were to look. Shamans throughout history and across numerous cultures knew where to look. In fact, entheogens were a unifying and evolutionary commonality throughout our mutual human evolution. But, if we all have the power of God within us, if we all, without the dogma and oppression of churches and temples and synagogues, can directly contact the Divine, then what power do any organized religions have over us? The last thing organized religions want us to know is that we not only have the power to change the world, we have, within each one of us, the power of God, the Universe, the Divine; of Christ himself, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or any other historical being that was able to connect with the great mystery.
When we’re afraid, we’ll accept just about anything as the truth. When we’ve been indoctrinated with what we’re told is the truth from a very young age, it’s difficult to escape that. Even more powerful, even though we can be presented with the truth, if we’ve had a lifetime of indoctrination, we will often reject the truth in order to escape the fear and uncertainty that come along with change.
The truth of all of this can be difficult to hear. The chart above can be difficult to accept. But the simple numbers alone should at least warrant some sort of research into the truth, don’t you think? Here at Entheology, we hope to provide you with that truth, with such overwhelming evidence that we may all choose to reexamine our mutual histories, that we may dig a little deeper than what we’ve been told by those in power, to find out where and how we lost our connection to God. A good place to start is an article called “Scientifically-Proven Religious Experiences“. It may at least open your eyes to the possibility that the medicines that have been labeled as “evil” by our government may actually have some merit and value.
Historical evidence shows that Jesus was a mystic; he taught love and tolerance. Perhaps each one of us can listen to his wise words and seek the truth. I predict that the internet will be the downfall of organized religion because the truth can only remain hidden for so long, and the internet is a place where truth cannot be suppressed. I am a firm believer that the truth will always win in the end, no matter how hard we have to struggle to reach it.
COMMENTARY ON THE ABOVE STATISTICS
Numbered Sources Listed at the Bottom of the Page
Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs
It is important to note that the number of deaths due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs grew by 61.1% from 2005-2009. This is a massive increase, and is very possibly due to the serious over-prescription of drugs that is becoming more and more common in the U.S. 3
Many prescription drugs bring along with them incredibly dangerous side effects, most of which are not acknowledged until information becomes known to the public through the suffering of patients taking the drugs. The most famous example is Vioxx, an arthritis painkiller which more than doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes to patients. It is now being discovered that many rheumatoid arthritis and hormone replacement medications have the potential to cause cancer. There is no doubt that as the over-prescription of drugs and the lack of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry continues, the number of deaths related to prescription drugs will continue to rise. 12
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
In 2009, the FDA stated that acetaminophen “may be the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States” and that the warnings that the drug may cause liver damage and stomach bleeding should be considered ‘severe’. 13
A 2005 study confirmed that overdosing on acetaminophen is now the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., and accounted for 42% of liver failure cases seen at liver centers. Of individuals who develop liver failure due to acetaminophen, 30% die. 14
As can be seen in the comment below by one of our contributors, a Registered Nurse, acetaminophen induced organ failure may be even higher in hospitalized patients over 60, whose cannot process the chemicals as quickly as younger people. Our commenter suggests that these deaths take some time to occur, which may account for few of these cases getting included in statistical analyses, but she mentions that the number of individuals who die from acetaminophen each year is 6-7 figures!
Here we have cited a figure of ‘8’ to represent the total number of deaths that ever have been attributed to marijuana in any way. In one study, two cases of fatal cannabis-associated cerebellar infarction. In another study, six cases of acute cardiovascular events leading to death that were associated with recent cannabis intake were reported. 9 It is important to note that in both of these cases, it was not determined what particular aspect of cannabis caused the death in question, and indeed, death could have occurred due to any number of unreported concomitant factors. These may indeed be cases of researchers attempting to use statistics to disseminate misleading information.
On the other side of the debate, we have the multiple sources that inform us of the relative safety of marijuana. A 1988 DEA document mentions that there are no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has ever caused death, and states that the LD-50 of marijuana is between 1:20,000 and 1:40,000. In other words, in order to die from marijuana consumption, one would have to consume about 1,500 pounds of marijuana in about 15 minutes in order to cause lethal overdose. 15
Another study compared deaths associated with marijuana to deaths associated with 17 FDA approved drugs that are often prescribed instead of marijuana. The cases of death occurred between 1997 and 2005. Marijuana was the primary suspect in zero deaths, and was thought to have perhaps contributed to 279 deaths. The 17 FDA approved drugs were considered the primary cause of death in 10,008 cases and a contributing cause in 1679 cases. 16
Finally, it has been suggested that marijuana leads to negative health effects that may shorten life expectancy in the long term. In response to this, there have been several studies that have compared the life expectancy of marijuana users versus non-users. The first considered 65,177 men and women age 15-49 over ten years and found that marijuana users did not die any sooner than non-users. The second study looked at 18-20 year old cannabis users over 15 years and found the same thing. 17
Based on all of this data, there is no solid evidence to prove that marijuana has been directly responsible for any deaths, and in comparison with many of the other substances considered in this article, it is remarkably safe.
Although there are a small scattering of cases of individuals reportedly dying after ingesting entheogens due to dangerous behavior, the actual toxicity and addictive potential of these substances is extremely low. Psilocybin, for example, is one of the least toxic hallucinogens, with an LD 50 of 280mg/kg of body weight. 18
Similarly, only one death has ever been reported from LSD overdose, and the quantity of LSD in the blood was said to be 320 mg, or 320,000 micrograms. 19 Cases have been reported of individuals falling to their death or committing suicide due to LSD delusions, but in most of these cases, no actual LSD was found in the blood of the deceased.
Finally, Salvia divinorum has not been recorded as being responsible for any deaths, although it has been implicated in the suicide of one Delaware teenager. However, the link between Salvia and the death of the individual is highly circumstantial. The boy was clearly quite depressed, as many teenagers can be, and considering the fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year old individuals, with the rate for white males in this group rising rapidly, it is impossible to directly link Salvia with the suicide in this situation. 20
War on Drugs
These statistics have not been included in the above graph, as the deaths in question did not occur in America. However, it is important to consider them as part of this discussion.
The War on Drugs that was spearheaded by Richard Nixon in 1971 is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Up to 1000 people are executed for drug offenses each year in violation of international law because of the draconian drug policies that the United States has imposed on countries the world over. 21
Furthermore, drug violence in Mexico, fueled by the American War on Drugs, led to 5,874 murders between January and September 2009 alone. If the substances in question here were legalized or decriminalized, there would be no impetus for this level of violence. 22
I don’t intend this information be the “Be all end all” discussion and presentation of the facts. I offer it as a way to possibly open the pathway to an honest, intelligent discussion on the safety of the substances that we put in to our bodies on an everyday basis. As of this writing, the majority of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana in some form. It is already legal for medical use in a number of states, and is on the ballot in several others. I don’t doubt that within my own lifetime, public opinion will shift to the point that the prohibition of and draconian laws regarding Cannabis will be repealed.
I doubt the same will be true for the sacred teacher plants known as entheogens, but I will continue to fight to help raise awareness, to keep the discussion open, in an effort to maintain and safeguard the thousands of years of shamanic knowledge and wisdom that we have gained through working with these plants, so often stamped out by greed-driven political powers who are fearful of the unknown, who are willing to destroy lives and often entire cultures based on bias rather than fact. The chart at the start of this article doesn’t lie. The numbers aren’t spun, altered ,or presented in a way to try to cast a favorable light on the topic. I am on the side of truth, and if the facts showed that Cannabis was dangerous and alcohol was safe I’d likely be arguing on the side of alcohol. But, as is becoming more clear every day, that simply isn’t the case.
All I hope is that this article may help you to re-examine some long standing opinions and beliefs that may be very deeply conditioned. Please allow these facts and statistics to enter your mind and create space, lucidity, and truth where there was once fear and ignorance. The ruling powers of this planet are not concerned with the health and safety of the human family, or of the beautiful planet that bore us. If they were, Cannabis would be legal and alcohol and tobacco products would be regulated more strictly. It is now up to us to determine what is medicine and what is poison. At the end of the day, you choose what you put in your own body. Be sure in your own heart that everything you consume is beneficial to your continued health and happiness. Be responsible for yourself – no one else can be expected to do so.
1. Source:(1996): “Smoking-Attributable Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, 1997), May 23, 1997, Vol. 46, No. 20, p. 449.
- (Average 1990-1994) According to the US Centers for Disease Control, from the beginning of 1990 through 1994 “2,153,700 deaths (1,393,200 men and 760-400 women; total annual average: 430,700 deaths) were attributed to smoking (19.5% of all deaths).” The CDC notes that “Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”
2. Source: “Number of deaths and age-adjusted death rates per 100,000 population for categories of alcohol-related (A-R) mortality, United States and States, 1979-96,” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, from the web at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/databases/armort01.txt, last accessed Feb. 12, 2001, citing Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System, Saadatmand, F., Stinson, FS, Grant, BF, and Dufour, MC, “Surveillance Report #52: Liver Mortality in the United States, 1970-96″ (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, December 1999).
- (1996) According to the federal National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 1996 an estimated 110,640 people in the US died due to alcohol.
3. Source: “AERS Patient Outcomes by Year,” Food and Drug Administration (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 31, 2010).
- (2010) According to this data, in 2010 alone there were 82,724 deaths and 471,291 serious outcomes involving prescription drug use in the U.S.
- (2000-2009) Editor’s Note: These data show “deaths” totaling 370,056 and “serious outcomes” equaling 2,345,006 occurred during the ten years from 2000 to 2009 as tabulated from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System for prescription drugs. Comparing the first five years (2000-2004) with the second five years (2005-2009) finds that the number of deaths grew by +61.1% for the second time frame as compared to first. For the same comparative spans, serious patient leaped by almost three quarters (+74.0%).
4. Source: Number of Poisoning Deaths* Involving Opioid Analgesics and Other Drugs or Substances — United States, 1999–2007,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 20, 2010, Vol. 59, No. 32 (Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control), p. 1026.
- (2007) “From 1999 to 2007, the number of U.S. poisoning deaths involving any opioid analgesic (e.g., oxycodone, methadone, or hydrocodone) more than tripled, from 4,041 to 14,459, or 36% of the 40,059 total poisoning deaths in 2007. In 1999, opioid analgesics were involved in 20% of the 19,741 poisoning deaths. During 1999–2007, the number of poisoning deaths involving specified drugs other than opioid analgesics increased from 9,262 to 12,790, and the number involving nonspecified drugs increased from 3,608 to 8,947.”
- (2007) Opioid analgesics were involved in 36% of the 40,059 total poisoning deaths in 2007. 36% of 40,059 is approximately 14,421 deaths related to opioid analgesics.
5. Source: Murphy, Sheila L., “Deaths: Final Data for 1998,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 11 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, July 24, 2000), Table 10, p. 53, from the web (1998):
- (1998) The US Centers for Disease Control reports that in 1998, there were a total of 18,272 deaths from homicide in the US.
- (1998): The US Centers for Disease Control reports that in 1998, there were a total of 30,575 deaths from suicide in the US.
6. Source: Murphy, Sheila L., “Deaths: Final Data for 1998,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 11 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, July 24, 2000), Table 10, p. 53, from the web.
- (1998): “In 1998 a total of 16,926 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Table 20). The category ‘drug-induced causes’ includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of drugs (legal and illegal use), but also poisoning from medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes accidents, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use. Also excluded are newborn deaths due to mother’s drug use.” The total number of deaths in the US in 1998 was 2,337,256.
7. Source: 1. Wolfe MM, et. al. New England Journal of Medicine 1999;340(24):1888-99
- (1999) “anti-inflammatory drugs (prescription and over-the-counter, which include Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, Ordus®, Aspirin, and over 20 others) alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations per year in the US”
8. Source: Based on the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Statistics, conducted by SAMHSA)
- In 2001, 76 deaths were reported involving the use of MDMA.
9. Source: Thomas Geller, MD, Associate Professor of Child Neurology at the Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, et al., wrote in their article “Cerebellar Infarction in Adolescent Males Associated with Acute Marijuana Use,” published in Pediatrics in Apr. 2004:
- (2004) “Each of the 3 cannabis-associated cases of cerebellar infarction was confirmed by biopsy (1 case) or necropsy (2 cases)… Brainstem compromise caused by cerebellar and cerebral edema led to death in the 2 fatal cases.”
- Liliana Bachs, MD, Senior Medical Officer at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, et al., wrote in their article “Acute Cardiovascular Fatalities Following Cannabis Use,” published by Forensic Science International in 2001:
- (2001)”Cannabis is generally considered to be a drug with very low toxicity. In this paper, we report six cases where recent cannabis intake was associated with sudden and unexpected death. An acute cardiovascular event was the probable cause of death. In all cases, cannabis intake was documented by blood analysis.”
10. Source: Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), at Daniel Siebert’s site; Sage Wisdom, as well as the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics websites:
- An exhaustive search of the literature finds no deaths induced by sacred entheogens such as Salvia Divinorum and other entheogens. The US Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) records no instances of drug mentions in medical examiners’ reports. Sacred entheogens, psychedelics, or even Salvia divinorum alone have not been shown to cause an overdose death, nor have there been any hospital visits by anyone who has ingested them.
11. Source: The 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2009). 47, 911-1084. The full text article is available for free download. the Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22B, journal pages 1052-3. Minerals, herbs, amino acids and other supplements are in the same table, pages 1047-8:
- In 2008, zero deaths were reported from the use of legal herbal remedies and supplements. Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements.
12. Source: Owen, David G., “Dangers in Prescription Drugs: Filling a Private Law Gap in the Healthcare Debate,” Connecticut Law Review (Hartford, CT: University of Connecticut School of Law, February 2010) Volume 42, Number 3, p. 737.
- “(2010) Each year offers new examples of injuries and deaths caused by untoward dangers in prescription drugs. Prominent illustrations from recent years include Vioxx, a popular arthritis painkiller that more than doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes,6 a risk that lingered long after users stopped taking the drug;7 “Phen-fen,” a diet drug that caused heart damage;8 and Propulsid, a drug that reduced gastric acid but also threatened patients’ hearts.9 Once information on these side-effects became known to the public, the manufacturers of each of these drugs stopped selling them and, eventually, paid millions or billions of dollars to settle claims for resulting injuries.10 Merck, for example, having withdrawn the profitable Vioxx drug11 from the market in 2004, settled nearly 50,000 Vioxx cases in late 2007 for $4.85 billion.12 In 2009, Eli Lilly agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.415 billion in criminal and civil penalties for promoting its antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa, as suitable for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).13 These cases may be among the more prominent, but they represent just the tip of the iceberg of damage caused by prescription drugs.”
13. Source: Food and Drug Administration, HHS, “Organ-Specific Warnings; Internal Analgesic, Antipyretic, and Antirheumatic Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph,” Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 81, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, p. 19391:
- (liver failure and alcohol warnings for acetaminophen and NSAIDS, 2009) “… we [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, HHS] have recent data suggesting that acetaminophen may be the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States (Ref. 13). Therefore,we believe that the word “severe” is appropriate in the liver warning. In addition, we agree with the submission that the word “severe” is also appropriate in the stomach bleeding warning on OTC NSAID [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug] products.”
14. Source: Larson, A.M., Polson, J., Fontana, R.J., Davern, T.J., Lalani, E., Hynan, L.S., Reisch, J.S., Schiodt, F.V., Ostapowicz, G., Shakil, A.O., Lee, W.M. “Acetominophen-induced acute liver failure: results of a United States multicenter, prospective study. Hepatology, 42(6), 2005, pp. 1364-72:
- (2005) Overdosing on acetaminophen is now the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for at least 42 percent of all cases seen at liver centers. This is up from 28% in 1998. Of those who develop acetaminophen-related liver failure, 30% die.
15. Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition” (Docket #86-22), September 6, 1988, p. 56-57:
- 3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?
- 4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
- 5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.
- 6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.
- 7. Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.
- 8. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.
- 9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.”
16. Source: Deaths from Marijuana v. 17 FDA-Approved Drugs (Jan. 1, 1997 to June 30, 2005):
- Overall, this study suggests that marijuana was the primary suspect in 0 deaths and was thought perhaps to have contributed to death in 279 cases. In regards to 17 FDA approved drugs which are often prescribed instead of cannabis, they were the primary suspect of death in 10,008 cases and the secondary suspect in 1679 cases. Cases occurred between ’97 and ’05.
17. Source: “Marijuana Smoking Doesn’t Kill” on WebMD:
- Sidney points to two large studies. The first is from (where else?) California. A large HMO looked at 65,177 men and women age 15-49. Over 10 years, marijuana users died no sooner than nonusers.
- The second study looked at 45,450 Swedish army conscripts. They were 18-20 years old when asked about marijuana use. Fifteen years later, the marijuana users were just as likely to remain alive as nonusers.
18. Source: “Psilocybe Toxicity Information” Shroomery Forum:
- Psilocybin does not qualify as a highly toxic substance when one uses traditional measures of acute toxicity such as the LD 50 (the dose required to kill 50% of experimental animals, usually rats.) Psilocybin has an LD 50 of 280mg/kg. In comparison, the LD 50’s of LSD, THC (the active compound in marijuana), and mescaline are 30mg/kg, 42mg/kg, and 370 mg/kg. Thus, when death is considered as the toxic endpoint, psilocybin is one of the least toxic of the hallucinogens. Also, the potential for dependence (physical addiction) of psilocybin and hallucinogens in general is minimal to non-existent, which also tends to support the contention of the relative safety of psilocybin in comparison to other narcotics. However, fatalities and injuries have resulted from falling or car accidents caused by short-term behavioral and perceptual impairment. In a survey of adolescent Psilocybe users, 13% reported serious injury such as head trauma and loss of consciousness.
19. Source: Stafford P. Psychedelics Encyclopedia. Ronin Publishing. 1992. p 70:
- For those concerned about immediate medical hazards in ingesting LSD […] Abram Hoffer has estimated, on the basis of animal studies, that the half-lethal human dose–meaning half would die (a standard measure for drugs)–would be about 14,000 [ug]. But one person who took 40 mg. (40,000 [ug]) survived. In the only case of death reportedly caused by overdose ([Griggs and Ward, 1977]), the quantity of LSD in the blood indicated that 320 mg. (320,000 [ug]) had been injected intravenously.
20. Source: “Brett’s Law” on Wikipedia, n.d.
21. Source: “The War on Drugs: Are we paying too high a price?” from the “Count the Costs: 50 Years of the War on Drugs,” Transform Drug Policy Foundation (United Kingdom, 2011), p. 4:
- (2010 – death penalty) “Up to 1000 people are executed for drug offences each year, in direct violation of international law.”
22. Source: United States Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Volume I, Drug and Chemical Control,” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State: March 2010)p. 432:
- (2009 – drug violence in Mexico) “The cross-border flow of money and guns into Mexico from the United States has enabled well-armed and well-funded cartels to engage in violent activities. They employ advanced military tactics and utilize sophisticated weaponry such as sniper rifles, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and even mortars in attacks on security personnel. DTOs have openly challenged the GOM through conflict and intimidation and have fought amongst themselves to control drug distribution routes. The results led to unprecedented violence and a general sense of insecurity in certain areas of the country, particularly near the U.S. border. Between January and September 2009, there were 5,874 drug-related murders in Mexico, an almost 5 percent increase over 2008 (5,600).”
Astonishing and tragic.
this is great an important information for people to be aware of…
This is great material. THE SOURCES ARE A GODSEND! noone ever does that EXCELLENT!!!!!
great reading…Now we know which side of the fence the bush administration is on…If we ever had any Doubt Thanks Phil/Bear
That’s fucked up. One of those things that piss you off so you reach for another smoke……….Duh!
If these numbers can’t change a mind what can?
Another set of figures would be instructive–how much money is spent on each catagory to reduce or control its use. Obviously the industries served have more influence on legislation than the citizens do and draconian drug laws have created an underground economy, and a convenient way to keep filling the prisons.
big money will always win until someone big stands up and says something. 0r they actually listen to the people.
Where does Salvia-divinorum fit in? It seems there’s no deaths from that either, yet it’s illegal in many states and countries already.
The quoted figures on licit drug deaths seem grossly underestimated. Acetaminophen induced organ failure is tremendous in hospitalized patients over age 60. It takes time for death to occur which may account for the miscalculation, but older kidneys and livers do not clear the body of yesterday’s Tylenol as would a 25 year old’s. Multiply that by several consecutive days or weeks of dosing and toxic results are inevitable. Those results produce a downward spiraling cascade of organ dysfunction, ultimately yielding organ failure. This is well known and documented in the medical community. The morbity numbers related to just this one licit drug toxicity are staggering, 6 to 7 figures.
Just wanting to connect as I am writing a book (Medicine Children) about raising children in the US within the context of participating in indigenous wisdom traditions, and your research is exactly one of the points I am making. The link to the website, above, is my blog, if you are interested in seeing what I am up to. Thanks for your offering. Very important in these times, to bring out the truth.