More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017.
Numbers like that are the latest sad statistic from a culture of drug abuse that broke into the open in the 1960s and 1970s. The cost of illegal drugs in terms of crime, lost work productivity, and the impact on the health care system is estimated at $200 billion a year. To that figure, you can add another $80 billion in prescription drugs.
Despite the staggering numbers of traffic deaths, overdoses, and a new generation of “stoners” who would rather get high than pursue productive lives, there’s growing momentum in the United States to legalize drugs.