United States

Provisional US Drug Overdose Data via Centers for Disease Control

The federal Centers for Disease Control compiles and publishes official data on annual causes of death in the United States. Demand for data on drug overdose deaths, and on drug overdoses generally, is so great that the CDC is now making raw data on these subjects available to the public. The data are provisional, not final, so there are several caveats that must be understood before examining the numbers. According to the CDC:

Washington State Data On Marijuana Use Following Legalization

"In these initial investigations, we found no evidence that I-502 enactment, on the whole, affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions. Further, within Washington State, we found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions.
"The bulk of outcome analyses in this report used the within-state approach to focus on identifying effects of the amount of legal cannabis sales. We found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected youth substance use or attitudes about cannabis or drug-related criminal convictions.

Factors That May Skew Estimates of Overdose Deaths in the US 2015

"First, factors related to death investigation might affect rate estimates involving specific drugs. At autopsy, the substances tested for, and circumstances under which tests are performed to determine which drugs are present, might vary by jurisdiction and over time. Second, the percentage of deaths with specific drugs identified on the death certificate varies by jurisdiction and over time. Nationally, 19% (in 2014) and 17% (in 2015) of drug overdose death certificates did not include the specific types of drugs involved.

Deaths from Overdose in the United States 2015

"During 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 U.S. deaths, including 33,091 (63.1%) that involved an opioid. There has been progress in preventing methadone deaths, and death rates declined by 9.1%. However, rates of deaths involving other opioids, specifically heroin and synthetic opioids other than methadone (likely driven primarily by illicitly manufactured fentanyl) (2,3), increased sharply overall and across many states."

DEA Versus Farmers and the States Regarding Legal Hemp Production

"Federal law prohibits cultivation without a permit. DEA determines whether any industrial hemp production authorized under a state statute is permitted, and it enforces standards governing the security conditions under which the crop must be grown. In other words, a grower needs to get permission from DEA to grow hemp or faces the possibility of federal charges or property confiscation, regardless of whether the grower has a state-issued permit.61

Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Reduction in Traffic Fatalities

(Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Reduction in Traffic Fatalities) "Using population-based data from 1985 to 2014, we found that, first, states that enacted MMLs during the study period had lower fatality rates compared with states without MMLs. Second, on average, traffic fatalities further decreased in states post-MML, with both immediate (sudden change in fatality rate after MML enactment) and gradual (change in rate trend after MML enactment) declines over time in those aged 25 to 44 years.

296 People Serving Time in Federal Prisons in the US Whose Most Serious Offense was Possession of a Drug

(296 People Serving Time in Federal Prisons in the US Whose Most Serious Offense was Possession of a Drug) The US Dept. of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that on Sept. 30, 2012, there were a total of 187,773 people sentenced and serving time in US federal prison for any offense. Of those, 97,214 people (51.8% of the total) had as their most serious charge a drug offense: 96,907 of them for drug trafficking or manufacture (51.6% of the total), 296 for drug possession (0.16% of the total), and 11 for "other"* drug offenses.

46,000 People in State Prisons in the US Whose Most Serious Offense was Possession of a Drug

(46,000 People in State Prisons in the US Whose Most Serious Offense was Possession of a Drug) The US Dept. of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that at yearend 2014, 1,316,409 people were serving sentences in state prisons in the US, of whom 206,300 (15.7%) had as their most serious offence a drug charge: 46,000 for drug possession (3.5% of all state prison inmates), and 160,300 for "other" drug offences, including manufacturing and sale (12.2% of all state prison inmates).

Total Number of Adults Incarcerated in US Prisons and Jails, 2015

(Total Number of Adults Incarcerated in US Prisons and Jails, 2015) "At yearend 2015, an estimated 2,173,800 persons were either under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or in the custody of local jails in the United States, down about 51,300 persons compared to yearend 2014. This was the largest decline in the incarcerated population since it first decreased in 2009. By yearend 2015, the number of persons incarcerated in state or federal prisons or local jails fell to the lowest level observed since 2004 (2,136,600) (not shown).

Current Legal Status of Kratom in the US

(Current Legal Status of Kratom in the US) "Although the findings of our literature and Internet searches strongly suggest a marked increase in kratom use in the United States and Europe, kratom still appears to be somewhat of an 'underground phenomenon.' During our searches of the literature and the internet, we found no evidence that kratom is currently marketed by any of the large nutritional supplement chain stores in the United States.

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