You've been having a good time, America.
Too much of a good time. The Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Heath Statistics looked at the latest data and said this week that drug overdoses were on the rise for the 11th straight year.
The good news for L.A., the medical marijuana capital of America:
Not one of the overdoses studied by the National Center was attributed to marijuana. That, at least, according to Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, who writes that it's virtually impossible to OD on weed, physiologically speaking.
We can imagine some negative cardiovascular, chain-reaction responses to the some of the stronger strains, however. But that's just a guess: Wouldn't want to smoke out your favorite 250-pounder with your kindest ear wax if you ask us.
In fact, the biggest contributor to America's increasing overdose problem is not even any of those street drugs on the federal outlaw list known as “Schedule I” substances.
Nope, the culprit here is “pharmaceuticals,” linked to nearly one in four deaths, according to a National Center summary:
Of the pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, 16,451 (74.3 percent) were unintentional, 3,780 (17.1 percent) were suicides, and 1,868 (8.4 percent) were of undetermined intent. Opioids (16,651; 75.2 percent), benzodiazepines (6,497; 29.4 percent), antidepressants (3,889; 17.6 percent), and antiepileptic and anti-parkinsonism drugs (1,717; 7.8 percent) were the pharmaceuticals (alone or in combination with other drugs) most commonly involved in pharmaceutical overdose deaths.
And the federal government won't give marijuana a chance as medicine?
The CDC's Christopher M. Jones:
Pharmaceuticals, especially opioid analgesics, have driven this increase.
Sounds like the medicine cabinet is more dangerous than your local dispensary.