Monday, December 22, 2008
Prescriptions No Defense. NYC local television newscasts today reported that an actor best known for a role in the odious Mafia drama The Sopranos has been found not guilty in the killing of an off-duty cop in the Bronx. The story he told on the witness stand is that he did not know that the guy he was with was armed, when they tried to break into an apartment to look for prescription drugs. Hm. Prescription drugs.
There are naive fools who want to believe that decriminalizing and medicalizing now-illegal drugs would solve the problems of horrendous crime connected to trafficking in drugs. Now we see that there is no validity to the suggestion that medicalizing drug addiction would eliminate crime, because unless the issuance of a medical prescription were instantaneous and absolutely without preconditions, people who want drugs will get them by any means within their reach. And if a prescription is to be made automatic, without any conditions, why not sell heroin and cocaine over the counter at candy stores?
We have seen that prescription medications of many kinds have been misused and stolen. Kids who want to get high check out their parents and grandparents' medicine cabinets and take whatever they want. So what the "medicalize drugs" crowd really mean is just let anybody, of any age, use any drug they want, even if they don't know how dangerous it is and even if drugs end up killing hundreds of thousands or even millions of people a year. That's the price of Liberty.
No, it isn't. Not everyone is insane, so society will NOT "medicalize" dangerous drugs, because we know that prescription drugs can be stolen and misused, and we do NOT want kids and other foolish or careless people dying by the thousands every week in the name of Liberty. There is no safe level of liberalization for deadly-dangerous drugs. An absolute prohibition on the manufacture, sale, and distribution, even for free, of numerous dangerous chemical intoxicants (not including the relatively benign alcohol, which society knows how to deal with) must be maintained, and indeed strengthened. Drugs are NOT harmless. Some drugs kill outrite. Others steal years of people's lives. Reducing the financial cost of drugs would in no way reduce the devastation to people's lives produced by drug use. All it would do is move the profits from one set of criminals (street pushers) to another (pharmaceutical drug lords). And even if that should produce tax revenues from pharmaceutical companies' profits, decent people do not want to collect taxes on blood money.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,213 for Israel.)
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