It appears there is growing interest in “doing something” about the growing problem of deaths from drug overdoses. Yet, there is no interest in using facts from science. Preference is for false notions planted firmly in the brains of politicians and the public.
We should always be aware of the role of class in the politics of drug enforcement laws. During prohibition, wealthy law makers had to foresight to remember that wealthy people have superior judgment about behavior and can be trusted. Therefore, alcohol was banned except that which was too expensive for most people and required connections within the higher classes to obtain. Whiskey was the drink of choice among wealthy people and it could be obtained legally with a prescription from a doctor.
Today health problems from alcohol and tobacco swamp those from heroin. The chance of lung cancer among smokers is 14%. Tobacco and alcohol is used by people acceptable to the general public. Heroin, while less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco, is still an illegal substance. This pushes it into the underground economy and causes deaths from uncertain quality and unsupervised use. The overriding view of drugs other than alcohol/tobacco is they are sin. Making heroin legal is legalizing sin.
The goal of “being clean” is popular for drug users like heroin but not important for alcohol or tobacco. This even though the danger from the latter is greater than danger from the former.
Ignoring facts is a time honored practice in politics and religion.