Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper just signed into law a bill which will use some of the state’s tax revenue to tackle the opiate crisis.
It’s no secret that there is an opiate crisis of epidemic proportions happening in the US right now, which opponents of legalization have blamed on the legalization of cannabis, despite evidence to the contrary. The state of Colorado has decided to take on opiate addiction in their state head on, by allocating some of the massive amount of tax revenue from legal cannabis to go toward fighting opiate addiction.
Last week, governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill which starting next year, will allocate 500k each year toward programs dedicated to fighting opiate addiction. According to an article on Massroots, the money will go to Colorado University’s Anschutz School of Nursing for a pilot program studying counties of the state that have the highest rates of opiate addiction. One area of interest is Southeast Colorado, which has a smaller population than the rest of the state, but has 18% of the state’s overall hospital visits caused by heroin overdoses.
A portion of the money will also go towards training more physicians how to deal with opiate addiction. There are currently only four doctors in the Southeast region who have been properly trained in this area. State lawmakers acknowledged that opiate addiction is a nonpartisan issue and one that should be taken seriously. State Representative Daneya Esgar (D- Pueblo) said back in February, “We all know that the opioid problem is impacting every single one of our districts across the state, so I think we are all just trying to help find solutions that will work. This isn’t a Pueblo issue. This isn’t a Republican issue. This isn’t a Democrat issue. This is an issue impacting every single of one our districts.”
Image Source: hopegrown.org
What are your thoughts? Is the state on the right track? Share with us in the comments!