The Joys of Legalized Opiates
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  • TheCynical1

    Similarly, Prohibition should not have been repealed.

    • Corlyss

      It was repealed for two reasons that no longer pertain: 1) it was destroying the cities (that’s already been done by feckless government and the growth of suburbs; 2) FDR believed the recovery from the depression was going to mean even more hardship and he didn’t want the masses not to have access to booze to mitigate their distress.

      • Andrew Allison

        Why do they no longer pertain? Like Prohibition, the utterly ineffectual “War on Drugs” is simply funding illegal activities and over-populating our jails. Missing from the discussion of the numbers of people killed by prescription drug abuse were the much larger numers killed by alcohol and tobacco.

        • Corlyss

          “Why do they no longer pertain?”

          After the depression and the war, the cities were virtually emptied of the middle class voters politicians cared about. Nobody cares about people in jail.

          “numers killed by alcohol and tobacco.”
          It’s hard to get worked up over suicide by addictive behaviors. Nobody forces people to drink, smoke, or do drugs. I don’t consider them diseases despite the trend to declare everything a disease. How many diseases do you know of that can be stopped by ceasing engaging in the behavior.

          • Andrew Allison

            The issue under discussion is the abuse of prescription drugs. Specifically, death by overdose. And pain, which is what opiates are prescribed for, is not a disease.

    • Andrew Allison

      Huh? Legal drugs are causing more deaths that illegal ones and that’s a reason to regulate? Or were you perhaps being ironic?

  • Corlyss

    “Abuse of legal drugs at local pharmacies is already rampant and proving elusive enough for government regulation.”
    Eh? How can legal drugs be abused? They’re legal because they are not dangerous and just barely effective for what they claim to treat. Just looking for info here.

    If they end up legalizing opiates, I do hope they release Sudafed from its bondage behind the counter. I feel slightly naughty when I ask for a couple of packages. I know why the slaphappy legislators so positioned it, but I think it was a stupid idea and it obviously hasn’t been effective in controlling the production of meth.

    • Nick M.

      Yes, but then that would end all the hilarious stories I hear from my pharmacist friends about all the various hilarious attempts by meth makers to nab it. Think of the unintended consequences man! 🙂

      • Corlyss

        I don’t hear stories like that from my pharmacist. Share?

        • Nick M.

          Here in Augusta they are afraid to tell a customer that they have Sudafed or similar product in stock. They started to limit the amount a person could buy at a time. Then, if they do let someone know, almost without fail, as soon as they tell one customer they have it, you will get a almost literal stream of customers each wanting to buy the maximum amount, often until they are out of stock (My friend told me it after the first customer, in an hour or two, it becomes like once every 15-20 minutes according to them.)

          • Corlyss

            Interesting. Thanks.

    • Andrew Allison

      Did you actually read the post, the first sentence of which reads, “Prescription painkiller overdoses are causing more deaths in America
      than heroin and cocaine combined, and the problem is getting worse.”?

      • Corlyss

        Yep. I thought the writer of the sentence I quoted was referring to OTC meds.

  • Andrew Allison

    “The more reports like this one we see, the harder libertarian arguments for legalization are to believe. ”

    This report that prescription painkiller overdoses are causing more deaths in America than heroin and cocaine combined demonstrates conclusively that regulation of drugs doesn’t work!

    • Jim__L

      Outright bans work better, apparently.

  • The question of legalization isn’t that drugs aren’t “bad” if used improperly, but whether using the legal and penal system to attempt to control drug use and distribution is actually effective. It clearly isn’t, and all the WoD achieves is to create and perpetuate a host of giant, expensive, liberty-destroying bureaucracies, as well as compromising our foreign policy, destroying numerous lives, etc. Would the aggregate social problem be any worse if the drug world were legalized and regulated, with non-penal options for addicts and far less money flowing into the illegal economy?

    • Jim__L

      If Item X is legal, do the problems associated with its use somehow disappear?

      • No, but the problems with its _illegality_ do, and those often overshadow the problems with its use or even abuse.

        • Jim__L

          I think VM’s point here is that the problems of illegality have trouble overshadowing the higher death toll for dangerous legal drugs.

          • Yes, and I respectfully disagree, particularly for low-grade drugs like MJ and (probably) cocaine. A better case for illegality could be made for heroin and meth, but even there, the very high costs of illegality need to be considered, not just a prudish “people shouldn’t do that so it should be illegal”, or even “people die from OD, let’s fill the prisons and hire expensive armies of LEOs to put the hammer down”.

  • Solomon Rubin

    It is a basic principle of economics that when prices go up consumption
    goes down and vice versa. The price of prescription opiates is kept down by the
    fact that its cost is being subsidized by medical insurance. As such, the
    increased use of prescription opiates tells us nothing about the consumption rate
    of legalized heavily taxed cocaine that is.

    • Jim__L

      It amazes me how often people forget that American smuggling has a long history of existing in response to “heavy taxes”.

  • ljgude

    I don’t see any sane way back to the days where opiates could be bought across the counter – as in California until the mid 30s. And the amount of Laudanum sold in the UK in the 19th century was heroic on a per capita basis. We are a different people now, trained from the cradle to prohibitions that our ancestors never knew. I grew up in a town of 400 where the social system was still 19th century and there was a man there married to a woman with a drug problem. It was still ’til death do us part so he just sucked it up and everyone felt sorry for him. Given this glimpse of the past as a kid I don’t think we could live our great-grandparent’s lives today – we don’t have the cultural equipment. So it quite unclear to me that while prohibition clearly doesn’t work, I am not sure that unleashing opiates and cocaine on the populous would work either. It might help the unemployment problem, though.

  • Eric J.

    And how many of those deaths are of “legitimate” pain patients who have moved to illicitly procured pills because their doctors will not or can not prescribe them enough to adequately treat their pain? How many are related to liver failure because they were ignorant of the acetaminophen packaged with their opiates as a drug abuse prevention measure?

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