What National Review Gets Wrong About the Opioid Crisis and the War on Drugs

TDB's picture

Via The Daily Bell

Alright, libertarians, you wanted drug legalization, right? Well, with opioids, via loose prescriptions, you got it, and what’s happened? We are in the middle of the worst epidemic of overdose and addiction this country has ever seen, thousands are dropping like flies, and it appears that things will be getting worse before they get better. Your theories might sound nice when you don’t have skin in the game, but when reality intrudes on your fantasies of a free society, real people pay the price. Right?

Well, not quite.

The above argument might sound familiar because a variation of it is trotted out during every national crisis. Be it war, financial instability, poverty, during health insurance debates, or any other crisis or threat, a chorus rises to blame supporters of a free society for their juvenile dogmatism that is surely causing the very predicament everyone is suffering under.

“There are no libertarians in financial crises,” gloated mainstream financial analysts during the subprime meltdown, which was caused by “free market fundamentalists”, according to George Soros.

The opioid crisis is no different, but one would have thought the fingers would have pointed at libertarians far earlier. This may be partially due to the fact that support for ending the Drug War occupies a strange grey area between Left and Right. More traditional, law-and-order type conservatives generally support the War on Drugs, as well as the tough-on-crime tactics used to prosecute it, while the Left tends to support ending the Drug War due to its violation of civil liberties.

This has always seemed strange to me since conservatives tend to support more freedom as opposed to less, smaller government as opposed to big, and the Left tends to always and everywhere support greater restriction of liberty for the ostensible benefit of, well, someone, somewhere, and a large, intrusive government to do it. But, during a crisis, regardless of Left or Right, voices will denounce liberty in favor of something more “responsible”. “We don’t have the luxury of being libertarians right now”, say the condescending, adult voices of reason and responsibility.

And so it is with Jonah Goldberg at National Review, who recently authored a piece against the libertarian argument for full drug legalization, essentially stating that an opioid-addicted dystopia would be the inevitable future of a libertarian society, with heroin sold on the shelf right next to Johnny Walker, loaves of bread, and the morning paper.

In Goldberg’s piece, “The Opioid Crisis Should Make Libertarians Rethink the Drug Legalization Argument”, he sees the opioid crisis as an experiment in drug legalization. He then looks at the outcome, mass overdose deaths, then finger wags libertarians for their blind devotion to ideology.

David French had a similar take on the crisis in a piece back in April, “The Opioid Crisis Should Kill the Call to Legalize Hard Drugs”. He sees an opioid crisis and blames “drug libertarianism”.

Forgive me, but the libertarian argument for full legalization is a bit more nuanced than that.

Libertarians understand full well the dangers that hard drugs pose for society at large, but this is the very reason for their support for full legalization. Far from wanting anyone and their children to get their hands on heroin, they understand that drug prohibition itself has been the cause of the widespread use of these hard drugs.

Richard Cowen’s 1986 article, “How the Narcs Created Crack”, illustrates the “Iron Law of Prohibition”, which essentially states that the harder the crackdown on drugs, the harder the drugs become. There was no national conversation about heroin, meth, or crack-cocaine during the late 70s because there was no epidemic associated with these drugs. It was only once a militarized crackdown on marijuana and cocaine really got underway that black market entrepreneurs developed and sold the economic equivalent of bathtub gin that these hard drugs became a problem.

In my home state of Oklahoma, where meth use is rampant, law enforcement effectively eliminated the mom-and-pop labs that produced meth locally. But meth use still increased, and overdoses increased. What explains this? The Mexican drug cartels moved in, bringing their high potency meth, produced south of the border in super labs, and began supplying the demand. Oklahoma law enforcement unwittingly invited the cartels into this state, and are effectively the chief enforcers of their market share.

There is now a push by the Oklahoma AG to treat opioid manufacturers like organized crime through the use of the RICO law, but it only takes just a little imagination to understand that this would only benefit real organized crime.

The solution to the opioid epidemic isn’t to abandon the philosophy of liberty and opt for a renewed Drug War, but to develop a non-opioid based painkiller and make it widely available to patients and addicts. Cannabis appears to be the chief contender for this role, as it has been shown that addicts can be successfully weaned off their deadly poisons through the use of marijuana. And when given the choice, pain patients overwhelmingly prefer marijuana to opioids. So what’s the hold-up?

Prescribing heroin to those most susceptible to addiction, pain sufferers, should be an idea tossed in the dustbin, but the corollary policy doesn’t lie in the simplistic “let’s fight a war!” mindset. Simple-minded prohibition brought us to this precipice, it cannot bring us out. An amped-up, militarized war on prescription opioids will lead to an unprecedented plague of black market heroin, laced with fentanyl, elephant tranquilizers, and God knows what else.

The situation, then, will truly be out of control. The Cartel presence in the U.S. will become massive, and ubiquitous, as black market heroin profits will soar, corrupting law enforcement, the political class, and everyone standing to cash in. The United States will then truly become a Narco State.

Periods of national crisis are the true test of defenders of liberty and are the very times to defend the philosophy of liberty most vigorously, because it’s this philosophy that will lead the way out.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
The Divided Stoopids of DuhMerica's picture

Really, who gives a fuck?

Seriously.

We all know how the game is played.. What's anybody going to do about it?

Besides, who's day here is going to be ruined if some junkie niggers, or whites, to stupid to realize OD?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

zimboe's picture

Some Boolean logic:

A. Anything that kills the stupid faster than the smart improves the gene pool.

B. Drug addicts are stupid.

C. Drugs kill addicts.

D. drug legalization increase drug use (maybe).

A*B*C*D = E. Legalizing all drugs is right and good.

E. , then wait state = No more junkies.

Refute my logic.

/sarc

...

So why are we bombing the shit out of the oil niggers (who make useful oil), instead of the criminal gangland that is Mexico?

Drug imports from Mexico are *chemical warefare. The cartels have killed more Americans than any terrorists ever could.

Waste them.

 

 

* The lethal dose of carfentanyl is similar to Sarin (VX), a nerve gas.

LA_Goldbug's picture

Why don't we bomb Mexican Cartels ? Simple, because they make money for some powerful people in the US, Banks. The printed $$ is the currency of choice in the Narco World thus making the FED very happy and rich.

David Wooten's picture

"...develop a non-opioid based painkiller and make it widely available to patients and addicts. Cannabis appears to be the chief contender for this role..."

Cannabis is not a painkiller.  It might reduce some kinds of pain but not like opioids.  It might help addicts get off opioids though.

Pitchman's picture

Excellent, a solution that ignores the problem.  Who pray tell will control the miracle drug you speak of?

Problems have a source. Let's start there; cut it off at the root.  Eliminate the $1.5 Trillion industry that is production. distribution, money laundering and the $Billions spent in the faux WAR fighting it.  Both sides of this charade benefit the same group people in the international monetary/Banking system. You faux libertarian Bankster/hedge fund psychos obfuscate this fact because your greed proceeds your souls.

It's an inconvenient history Mr. Wiggens. One I know you understand.  The last Heroin epidemic took place when the U.S. invaded SE Asia, the Golden Triangle.  Today's broader and much larger Heroin/Opioid epidemic starts in the Golden Crescent Afghanistan - Poppy fields, Pakistan - refinement of Opium and Heroin, and production of Opioids. Throw in Iran too. In Afganistan, Big Pharma is building out production as we speak.

AMERICA: There was no Opioid epidemic before the U.S. invaded Afganistan; now America's longest war.

Inflection Point: The origins of this war were not for a Terror Attack, but for a Unocal pipeline and Opium production. The War On Afganistan is a WAR ON YOU! - NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction of the Real Druglords & Warlords

Cutting off Opioids requires cutting off the agribusiness of growth and production which starts with CIA, Dyncorp, and American (NATO), troops protecting poppy fields in Afganistan.  WTFU!  Those preaching different are profiting from the lives of your children and you.

  

THE WAR ON YOU! "Uranium One and #AwanGate is ISIS In Congress"

Invade Afganistan Mgf. In Paki. & Ship 2 US - War on Drugs funds Law Enforcement

 

POTUS Out to fight Opioids in the US. Please! Stop them at the source, Afganistan /Pakistan! "The Whistleblower" a 60 Minutes farce!

Uranium One is : Weapons, Drugs, and Humans

#AwanContra - Weapons for Drugs: The Deep States WAR ON YOU! 

 

#AwanContra - Deepstate Funding: Traffic Weapons, Drugs, Humans, Organs.

THE WAR ON YOU! - @Cobleone

 

lew1024's picture

The very high overdose rate is because Pakistani 1/4 and 1/2 dose pills and capsules are being sold as the real thing. Get used to a dose controlling your pain, counted in 1/4 strength pills, and guess what happens when your pharmacist's next batch is full strength?

Those Pakistani drugs are in the VA's system and at least one chain of pharmacies.

natxlaw's picture

The National Review is a CIA funded publication just like the WaPo. It is a neocon mouthpiece. Neoconservative because it sounded better than NeoNazi which is what they are. #paperclip

Crush the cube's picture

Wait a minute, the whole perscription deal is big government, they regulate and control it to death.  So is Satan now suppose to cast out Satan?

peippe's picture

'they regulate it & control it to death'

-they sure did, didn't they?

shortonoil's picture

 

Drug enforcement is BIG business; from the bust to the jail house. 

Pitchman's picture

Problems have a source. Let's start there; cut it off at the root.  Eliminate the $1.5 Trillion industry that is production. distribution, money laundering and the $Billions spent in the faux WAR fighting it.  Both sides of this charade benefit the same group people in the international monetary/Banking system. You faux libertarian Bankster/hedge fund psychos obfuscate this fact because your greed proceeds your souls.

It's an inconvenient history Mr. Wiggens. One I know you understand.  The last Heroin epidemic took place when the U.S. invaded SE Asia, the Golden Triangle.  Today's broader and much larger Heroin/Opioid epidemic starts in the Golden Crescent Afghanistan - Poppy fields, Pakistan - refinement of Opium and Heroin, and production of Opioids. Throw in Iran too. In Afganistan, Big Pharma is building out production as we speak.

AMERICA: There was no Opioid epidemic before the U.S. invaded Afganistan; now America's longest war.

Inflection Point: The origins of this war were not for a Terror Attack, but for a Unocal pipeline and Opium production. The War On Afganistan is a WAR ON YOU! - NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction of the Real Druglords & Warlords

Cutting off Opioids requires cutting off the agribusiness of growth and production which starts with CIA, Dyncorp, and American (NATO), troops protecting poppy fields in Afganistan.  WTFU!  Those preaching different are profiting from the lives of your children and you.

THE WAR ON YOU! "Uranium One and #AwanGate is ISIS In Congress"

Invade Afganistan Mgf. In Paki. & Ship 2 US - War on Drugs funds Law Enforcement

POTUS Out to fight Opioids in the US. Please! Stop them at the source, Afganistan /Pakistan! "The Whistleblower" a 60 Minutes farce!

Uranium One is : Weapons, Drugs, and Humans

#AwanContra - Weapons for Drugs: The Deep States WAR ON YOU! 

#AwanContra - Deepstate Funding: Traffic Weapons, Drugs, Humans, Organs.

THE WAR ON YOU! - @Cobleone

Kefeer's picture

A straw-man argument at best and a lousy article as well.  The up-tick in drug abuse is nothing new; if it is not heroine, then the globalist will provide something else.  In the mean time the vast majority of patients who suffer and are doing things according to their doctors and other caregivers are the real victims of this "war on drugs".  The day Jesus returns will be oh so bitter sweet.  It will take a supernatural act of God to clean up all the human feces.

 

The writer would change his tune immediately if he were to be suffering from chronic pain and no relief for him.  Pain can be managed with opioids as a tool, not the solution.  Lifestyle changes are necessary and it it a working relationship between the patients and caregivers that make life manageable for those who suffer from chronic pain.  

Hikikomori's picture

If "TDB" believes there is de facto drug legaliztion in the USA, I suggest he (she? it?) go down to their local jail, and ask the prisoners there what they were busted for.

Consuelo's picture

 

 

"Forgive me, but the libertarian argument for full legalization is a bit more nuanced than that."

 

There is nothing 'nuanced' about this...   I am perplexed the author spent so much space equivocating.  

As an American who still believes in Original Intent, the answer to 'drug laws' - or any other governmental intrusiveness not specifically prescribed in the nation's founding documents (actual and/or spirit thereof), the answer is quite simple: 

You either believe in freedom or you don't.

Live and let succeed.

Live and let fail.

Fundamentally, the belief in true freedom and liberty is the belief that (overall) men can get along with each other - communicate, transact, deal, contract, etc., without official 3rd party interference...

'Conservatives' by & large are mouth breathers for Original Intent and Founding principles.    However, when it comes down to the gritty nature of live & let live, they share the same Control Freak DNA as their 'liberal' counterparts.

herefortheshow17's picture

Excellent post! I couldn't have said it any better! 

Both Conservatives (Right) and Liberals (Left) are psychopaths. God help us.

Kefeer's picture

Sadly you left out the most important element and that being the founders knowledge that civil government apart from the God of Scripture will not work.  Where can you find more purr moral values to guide the nation than the New Testament?  You cannot.

shovelhead's picture

Let's not confuse Conservatives with Republicans. Many R's don't hold conservative values. Conservatives don't want to confine or save you and they most certainly don't want to pay for either.

I'm perfectly fine with "do violent crime...you die" bye-bye.

The 25 cent solution to crime. The ultimate in 'actions have consequences' theory.

vaporland's picture

North Korea and Saudi Arabia have draconian law enforcement and virtually no crime

The ultimate in actions have consequences

seataka's picture

God created the opium poppy so that old farts might bounce their grandkids on their knees without wincing.

______________

Anteater's picture

Just think, we spent TRILLIONS of our last life savings, that are never

coming back, we made the Karzai's BILLIONAIRES with grift trying to

grab those resource leases, that went to India and China instead, and

we are STILL in Afghanistan, which is now turning out enough opium to

give every American a huge gumball FREE to smoke all they want to.

Why is there even an 'opioid crisis'? WE HAVE FREE AFGHAN OPIUM!!

WE CONQUERED AFGHANISTAN!! WHERE'S THE ROI TO INVESTORS?!

Smoke opium over here, so they don't smoke opium over there!

Kagemusho's picture

Prior to the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 the US had no national drug laws, just local (State) ones, and those aimed principally at minorities (Chinese, Blacks, Mexicans). Until the prohibition-minded Progressives made it their cause celebre. We have the the ideological ancestors of today's Proggies to thank for the current mess.

Before 1914, you could buy all manner of things legally from your local 'drug store' cheaply, at pennies to the dollar. No cartels  trying to corner the market with violence. Addicts got their fixes despite overwhelmingly negative social opprobrium (shame) and if a few died, well, they were heading that way, anyhow.

The reason this was allowed until 1914 was the very same reason behind drug law reform today: The 'cure' of prohibition is worse than the disease. But beneath that was also the understanding that allowing government to insert itself into your life in order to 'protect you from yourself' was ultimately to invite a dangerous beast into your home; checks and balances would be eroded and government power would expand at the expense of individual rights...as it has, with horrendous results. The individual was responsible for his or her actions, and did not lay the blame for their self-inflicted addictions on anyone else. The libertarian arguments against drug prohibition stand the test of time,  unstained.

And, one question is never asked regarding the whole matter, but it should be: With over a trillion dollars spent since the late 1960's on drug prohibition, and practically nothing spent on 'saving' alcoholics from themselves during the same time period, does this mean that a druggie's life is more valuable than a drunk's?

 

peippe's picture

more valuable than a drunk's?

well, no, but a drunk or a tobacco user can pay taxes over 

the majority of a lifetime & prove a good donkey, whereas 

a drug user is done with society long before society can properly exploit their 

ignorance. Nobody in gov't will acknowledge it, but time & taxes paid is all the difference. 

The druggie 'steals' from gov't, & gov't is getting angry/frustrated about it. lol.

Kefeer's picture

Where did Coca-Cola get its name - enough said...A coke and a smile!

iadr's picture

Your comment makes enough great points (and caused one epiphany, more in a sec) that I saved it to my "quotes" desktop wordpad file.

 

The dangerous beast into your home

- I'm trying to think how to reword that for a former female partner I still hope to have conversations about these sorts of things with. Perhaps a soldier in full battle gear stationed in her kitchen, is less viscercal and fairy tale (than beeat ...  no offense to your use of it), and more direct to my point.

So... it really begs the question what is it he would be protecting from, doesn't it? Who is he protecting? Why was he called in? A silly line of questioning on the surface, but there was a bit of an epiphany:  protect from herself.

Here is the thing- she is from a middle class family who venerates education (and notably, alcohol *eye roll*), and as such, has been heavily brainwashed to "receive" her thoughts from authority. So she is saying she needs an authority on topics where she feels out of control. I hadn't as clearly seen that in leftists- which she sadly but unsurprisingly is- as I had in hypocritical right-ists.  Why does an (R) politician tap his foot in an airport bathroom, following (and I am sure during. Or would have been during if it hadn't leaked out - notably, after many months of supression, and put an end to it) a career of creating laws agains gays? Well because he felt his urges out of control, imaged others to be in the same situation, and acted. To what? A: Protect people from themselves.

Well, I don't need to be protected from myself. To tie this back to the topic, I can have <ahem> 'not even once' in my bedside table for months and months and not use it, simply because the bad over powers the good of the experience.

Honest Sam's picture

".......as black market heroin profits will soar, corrupting the political class"

This is as upside down as claiming that "guns kill people."

And shocking coming from this site.

The political class as well as anyone else on this planet and pluto, CORRUPTS themselves when they succumb to any temptation that exploits another because we all have a number.

Get it straight.  The heroin profit isn't corrupting anyone. 

Please restate it. 


Reaper's picture

There's a Darwinian solution or survival of the wiser.

DieSocialJusticeWankers's picture

If you CHOOSE to use lethal addictive drugs  and accidentally die from an overdose, Darwin's your friend.  Fuck em!!

Smerf's picture

The keys to liberty are honesty and the golden rule. The only way for a libertarian world to exist is if people lived honestly and did onto others as they would have done to themselves. Everything else would fall into place.

Nothing works when you tell people one thing, and do another. If you are constantly finding ways to slander your neighbor or take their things, none of your charity will mean anything.

Kat Daddy's picture

It seems the heroin epidemic starts around the time of the occupation of Afghanistan, US Army guarding the poppie fields.  We are told the drugs come from Mexico, but Mexican production of opiods is not nearly enough to satisfy the addiction of America.  It begins with the legal prescription of pain meds, and when cut off, users go to street drug sources.  The VA seems to be doing this a lot to Vets.

Rex Andrus's picture

If I have guns and you have dope we are balanced. Let it be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtNU616XqQk

Please

Hkan's picture

Follow the money see who gets RICH from prescripted opioids.

Its just a "legal" way of cutting in on the drugmarket making MONEY wich it always comes down to.

Bank account health is only genuin healthcare.

Vigilante's picture

Most humans are dumbfucks...they will follow any trend that prevails

...and one of the trends in the last 50 yrs is drug use

You legalize drugs ,there will be an explosion in use.

We need more draconian laws

The earth is not populated by philosophers.

 

not dead yet's picture

Prohibition put a lid on alcohol use but the prevailing view says it never worked. They ended prohibition to stop the crime wave. Since then legal alcohol use has exploded to where over 30% of the US are problem drinkers and the vast majority imbibe in some way. The attitude is if you ain't drinking there's something wrong with you. It will be the same with the drugs. It's complete bunk that legalizing will usher in the decline of drug use. Even the experts admit it and look upon legalization as demanding more shrinks and treatment centers. But, Americans have spoken. End the war and stop the unneccessary carnage it's wrought and let the morons have access to their drugs and let the bodies pile up. That's the only thing that's going to wake up Americans to the dangers of drugs not more laws and widening the war. If they can't pay for treatment too bad. Die. You made the choice in the face of all the info that says don't do it so pay. No freebies.

If drugs are legalized, they won't be because too many "honest" politicians, cops, judges, DA's, and others would lose their gravy train, the cartels will not go away. They will be competition. Most would not want it known they use drugs so they won't buy them from legal outlets. Some claim they should do away with prescriptions for legal drugs. Never happen unless they pass laws that absolve drug companies from all responsibility if their drugs kill or harm someone as many dumb asses self diagnose and buy stuff that will hurt or kill them.

Pitchman's picture

Excellent, a solution that ignores the problem.  Who pray tell will control the miracle drug you speak of?

Problems have a source. Let's start there; cut it off at the root.  Eliminate the $1.5 Trillion industry that is production. distribution, money laundering and the $Billions spent in the faux WAR fighting it.  Both sides of this charade benefit the same group people in the international monetary/Banking system. You faux libertarian Bankster/hedge fund psychos obfuscate this fact because your greed proceeds your souls.

It's an inconvenient history Mr. Wiggens. One I know you understand.  The last Heroin epidemic took place when the U.S. invaded SE Asia, the Golden Triangle.  Today's broader and much larger Heroin/Opioid epidemic starts in the Golden Crescent Afghanistan - Poppy fields, Pakistan - refinement of Opium and Heroin, and production of Opioids. Throw in Iran too. In Afganistan, Big Pharma is building out production as we speak.

AMERICA: There was no Opioid epidemic before the U.S. invaded Afganistan; now America's longest war.

Inflection Point: The origins of this war were not for a Terror Attack, but for a Unocal pipeline and Opium production. The War On Afganistan is a WAR ON YOU! - NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction of the Real Druglords & Warlords

Cutting off Opioids requires cutting off the agribusiness of growth and production which starts with CIA, Dyncorp, and American (NATO), troops protecting poppy fields in Afganistan.  WTFU!  Those preaching different are profiting from the lives of your children and you.

THE WAR ON YOU! "Uranium One and #AwanGate is ISIS In Congress"

Invade Afganistan Mgf. In Paki. & Ship 2 US - War on Drugs funds Law Enforcement

POTUS Out to fight Opioids in the US. Please! Stop them at the source, Afganistan /Pakistan! "The Whistleblower" a 60 Minutes farce!

Uranium One is : Weapons, Drugs, and Humans

#AwanContra - Weapons for Drugs: The Deep States WAR ON YOU! 

#AwanContra - Deepstate Funding: Traffic Weapons, Drugs, Humans, Organs.

THE WAR ON YOU! - @Cobleone

Anteater's picture

1. Marijuana use by Millenials in 'legal' states is WAY DOWN.

2. Binge drinking across age quintiles is GOING DOWN TOO.

3. 'Legal' opioid use by Old Hippies across the US is WAY UP.

4. Driving while texting/GMapping/talking is an EPIDEMIC.

And here's the money quote:

"The top 10 percent of American drinkers - 24 million adults over age 18 - 

consume, on average, 74 alcoholic drinks per week, that's 10 per day!"

JohnG's picture

".... per week, that's 10 per day!""

 

Phhhht.  Pikers.

jeff montanye's picture

i like the capitalization of old hippies like it's a real demographic group.

shovelhead's picture

Lol.

Alcohol use doubled after prohibition. Even the numbers from the Feds confirmed this.

Sorry. Freedom may not produce perfect results but it insures the best outcome for the vast majority.

But if you like drug cartels...carry on.

Bemused Observer's picture

Legalization is NOT to decrease drug use...there is no legislative fix to the problem of drug abuse. You legalize to 1) Take the profits out of the hands of criminals. and 2) to ensure the 'supply' is not contaminated, or poisoned by having it made legally by genuine manufacturers that you monitor.

Legalization would almost certainly result in a sharp but temporary spike in useage, which would drop off dramatically after the novelty wore off. Because most people are NOT addicts, and do not have the tendency towards addiction. Most people do not seek the psychoactive effects of their pain medicine, and indeed most consider any such effects as a negative side effect, NOT a selling point, and try to avoid them. But TPTB insist that they ARE seeking the high, and I can't help but wonder if these jerks aren't just projecting their OWN desires onto the general populace. Are they really saying that YOU can't have this drug because I find it too tempting?

There is this assumption among some that 'the people' are just a bunch of children who must be actively managed. That they, like children, have no self-control and must be controlled by 'responsible people'...What an offensive attitude! First, that they do it at all, but second, that they claim to BE the 'responsible people' who should be given this power!

Fuck YOU, you self-righteous, holier-than-thou hypocrites!

The whole mentality behind substance prohibitions is the nasty little human tendency to begrudge anyone a 'benefit' that they, in their thinking, did not EARN. How DARE someone be able to feel better so easily, when life is so hard? THEY'RE JUST TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT! Stone them!

 

You should not be taking such an interest in the personal lives of others...Unless they are HARMING you, committing an actual CRIME, what they do is none of your fucking business. If you don't LIKE it, too bad! No one asked you. Go take care of your OWN issues, and get off of your neighbor's back. If he is a pot smoker or pill popper and you find that offensive, then be glad you aren't him. And be glad you live in a country where you don't have to do what your neighbor does, you are allowed to say no. 

In the 'good old days', when neighbors were likely to know one another, that pill-popping neighbor might have generated a little human concern. Something is obviously not working well in his life, and perhaps others would reach out to him, try to include him, and ask if he needs anything...now everybody wants to call 911 and anonymously report each other for shit.

just sayin'

iadr's picture

You two miss the examples in Europe- Portugal clearly, and previously Holland.  The latter suffered the problems of being the odd-man out. Imagine the repuation of a state that still sold guns more or less like we do today, if gun control got passed.

I should research this :

- "tourists" who used to a problem extent in Holland- who took care of their emerg/short term healthcare costs? If the costs were less than we are taught to think, then thats relevant info. If travel insurance took care of them, that's amusing.

Bemused Observer's picture

Pain patients do NOT overwhelmingly prefer pot to opioids...they are two different drugs, and have different effects. Opioids are, and have ALWAYS been, the gold standard for pain relief, whether the 'nannies' like that fact or not. There ARE no non-opioid meds that are anywhere near as effective, period. Until someone discovers a whole new class of medications, this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

You need to separate the pain patients from the illegal drug users...the two are NOT the same. The 'opioid crisis' is almost ALL about ILLEGAL drugs, especially bootleg fentanyl that they KNOW is coming from labs in China. This shows you the 'opioid crisis' is actually a failure of law enforcement, NOT irresponsible prescribing.

The few doctors that make headlines, the 'pill mill' operators, are only IN that position in the first place because over-enthusiastic LE crackdowns and stings made real doctors afraid to prescribe, and the patients were all sent to "Pain Management" clinics instead where they could be 'properly monitored'. The War on Drugs basically legalized pill-pushing and favored it over physician-managed pain control. And you are surprised that arrangement quickly deteriorated into the pill mills run by quack doctors? What else were you expecting? Your regulations were funneling patients to them faster than the office staff could sign them up...ka-CHING, baby!

And now those poor bastards are all being funneled into 'rehab', because insurance pays, and thanks to anti-opioid hysteria will continue to pay, and pay well, for some time to come. Meanwhile those Chinese labs keep cranking out counterfeit fentanyl and shipping it here by the boatload and no one is catching them because the DEA is too busy second-guessing your grandmother's arthritis prescription and harrassing her doctor.

AutoLode's picture

Prescription Qxy's are surprisingly inexpensive and highly effective for pain relief and have relatively few harmful or long term side effects compared to most other pharmaceuticals. A person can live a functional life using a reasonable dose of Oxy drugs but pot also messes up the head which if people want it I could care less but I know I can't lead a very productive life smoking pot all day.

Notice they never mention which opioid deaths are from legal prescription meds verses heroin and other tainted black market pills etc because the facts would show legal scripts caused little or no deaths and black market drugs are the cause of the greatest majority of OD's and deaths

I don't believe there is any opiod crisis since alcohol related deaths and diseases dwarf anything opiod related and we don't here a peep about those deaths

Follow the money to big pharma who are all jealous of the Sackler families Qxy fortune and monopoly and they want big brother to ban Qxy meds so they can patent and introduce their "safe" oral dose version of opioid with big brothers protection and hell the customer base is already established!

iadr's picture

 You might want to get your facts- if any- straight.

There's zero truth in any of your words.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

"There ARE no non-opioid meds that are anywhere near as effective, period."

Haven't you heard? Red Kratom may be the perfect replacement (does not depress respiration) which is why Big Pharma is out to destroy it. DEA, FDA and now the idiot morning TV shows are sounding the oogety-boogety alarm.

Fed-up with being Sick and Tired's picture

I agree with the very first part of your reply.  From there, it is nonsense.   HOW DO I KNOW?

Well, we have two very close friends, both rather large women, and both suffered major injuries:  one from an accident and another fell into a hole (hatch) in a floor.   BOTH terribly injuried, and both are Addicts.   Their doctors are the pushers and so far, there has been NO problem with supply.   And, in both cases, these women are covered by their different health plans.    We spent a summer with one, and she can go no more than 6 hours without a pill, and then she CHANGES from loveliness to incapacitated.  UNREAL.   Both are on prescribed heroin, in effect.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

No offense but your friends share weight control issues which means that they are also predisposed to impulse control issues in general. When you say "she can't go six hours" I don't believe it. They both refuse to go around in discomfort is the more accurate description.

philip88's picture

The correct call in matter of drugs should be quite simple.

With the illegal drugs you have TWO problems.that cannot be solved together :

1. You have the huge black money coming out of the trafic. This money is a big risk for a society because it can corrupt everything,

2. Then health of indiduals and the society itself is at stake.

History shows us that the WAR ON DRUGS waged by the US government ( and other..) got ZERO SUCCESS! 

So my view would be to legalize even the hard drugs (that would be sold only in some specialized shops) which will have for effect to end the corrupt money (1.). In the same time, the specialized shops will have qualified health workers able to propose help to the drug addicts. I wrote PROPOSE, so nothing compulsary...

Of course, all the law enforcement officers are against this kind of plan because it is also the end if their privileges : power, miney, prostitutes????

shovelhead's picture

Not Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Real cop numbers by real cops.

You could put a treatment center in every town at half the cost as what we spend to chase em down, try them in court and lock em up.

Drug prohibition is basically a jobs subsidy program paid by taxpayers.

tangent's picture

I think this article is quite ignorant given that Portugal has more or less SOLVED the problem by decriminalizing ALL drugs up to and including heroin. Its not like we didn't learn what to do about these problems in the 1920's already either. Morals exist for a reason... they WORK. They are not unrealistic fantasies. They are not utopias either. Morals are practical. And one of the moral values of life is that we have a God given right to put ANY substance we choose in our bodies, and anyone forcing otherwise should be physically and emotionally attacked in any way possible and practical until the threat to our natural right (to do both crack cocaine and meth at once) is eliminated.

Alcohol is right up there as a hard drug in terms of real harm done, right under heroin in terms of damage done to society. Yet you can go to the corner shop and buy it. Huh. Quite a hypocritical system we have. There are people who think alcohol should be illegal, and they are just as wrong as the people who think the other hard drugs like meth should be illegal.

For some reason libertarian ideas have this laughable label of being "unrealistic", "impractical", or "uptopian", but what society has ever been set back by having values of excessive liberty? Not Hong Kong, a captialist city-state with generally libertarian principles. Not New Hampshire, Montana, or Alaska, the most libertarian US states. The author of this article simply needs to study the countries with libertarian drug policies.