A potentially explosive report detailing the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates reveals a disturbing connection between Utah’s anti-medical cannabis movement and the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, one of the state’s leading anti-legalization policymakers is also one of the state’s biggest seller of opiates.
The revelation has sparked outrage among medical marijuana patients and advocates, and has intensified ongoing tensions surrounding Utah’s controversial medical marijuana laws.
New Stats About Opiates Made Public
Recently, the Washington Post released a trove of federal data related to the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates across the country. Specifically, the searchable database tracks who is selling opiates and how much they’re selling.
The stats unveil a number of problematic trends. For starters, the database shows that the country’s pharmaceutical companies have sold 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills between 2006 and 2012. During that same time period, roughly 100,000 people have died from complications related to opiates and opiate addiction.
Additionally, the publication of the database has spurred in-depth searches and analyses, one of which found that Utah Senate Majority Leader—and top anti-cannabis lawmaker—Evan Vickers is one of the state’s biggest sellers of opiates.
As a result, legalization advocates are calling foul. And some of Utah’s top activists are