Legalized Marijuana Might Be the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Heroin Addicts

In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, embarked on a fierce anti-marijuana campaign. Highlighted by the 1936 anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness—where marijuana is depicted as a dangerous narcotic that makes good kids become sex-crazed killers—his propaganda efforts also maliciously linked marijuana use to African Americans and ethnic minorities.

By 1970, legislation codified cannabis as one of the nation’s most dangerous drugs: the Controlled Substance Act classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it possessed high potential for abuse and had no acceptable medical use. Over 40 years later, the classification remains.

But research has shown that marijuana, while still criminalized at the federal level, can be effective as a substitute for treating opioid addicts and preventing overdoses. Massachusetts, which recently legalized medical marijuana—and where heroin overdoses have soared—could be a fertile testing ground for this potentially controversial treatment.

– Read the entire article at Quartz.