Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is warning of a spike in deadly heroin overdoses across the Valley and blaming marijuana use for contributing to the problem.
During a Wednesday morning news conference, the county's top prosecutor laid out the evidence for his accusations.
He said there were 101 deaths in Maricopa County related to heroin overdoses in 2014, up from 56 in 2013. He then played a video for the media showing a number of recovering addicts sharing their stories about addition.
Following the presentation, he said of the people featured in it, "every single one of them, when they were discussing their own addiction or someone else's, referenced beginning with marijuana use."
The timing of the Montgomery's comments comes one day after a campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational use announced it has gathered more than 200,000 petition signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. The number is well above the requirement to qualify for the fall ballot.