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Drug (ab)use in Medicine?

Bjorn, Pret trauma-list@trauma.org
Tue, 11 Jun 2002 16:48:29 -0400


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I'll admit going in that I haven't paid any attention to this conversation
so far.  Sometimes a thread has to linger awhile before it catches my
attention.  So frankly, I don't know whose side I'm joining here.  It makes
me feel so pure somehow...

Me, I say legalize 'em all.  We've over-criminalized what's basically a
health problem, and it's been our undoing.

In the absence of prohibition, farmers could grow poppies and cannabis
alongside their corn (and tobacco), and sell their FDA-approved product
legally--even with hefty federal and state taxes--at a price competitive
with anybody in Columbia or Turkey.  It'd put the cartels and the crime
bosses and (some of) the terrorists out of business, practically overnight.
The military approach has failed us for generations; I suggest we give free
enterprise and American agricultural science a crack at it.

Removing the steep profit, in turn, amputates any financial incentive to
push drugs to kids on the street--at least to the extent that we've been
able to do as much for alcohol and tobacco.  Not too impressive a track
record, I grant you, but we're getting better at it every year.  Dealers no
longer get rich, and perhaps one or two would-be dealers opts for college
instead.  Fewer transactions ending in gunfire, fewer teens turning to
prostitution and property crime... I'm not seeing a down side here.

Drug criminalization could well be guided by precisely the standards we've
adopted for alcohol: provision or sale to minors remains prohibited, crimes
committed while under the influence are compounded.  Simple possession or
use, however, is one's own business, and asking for help would no longer be
synonymous with admitting you're a criminal. 

For those of you who are wondering by now: I'm dead serious.  Indeed, I'm
baffled that there's any need even to debate.  But nobody listens to me.

I could go on and on, of course--I can go on and on about navel lint.  But
what fascinates me most about this whole issue is how liberals like me tend
to take a demonstrably conservative approach to drug policy, while
conservatives like Bush and Ashcroft favor strict government control. 

How'd we ever end up THAT way?  There has to be more to it than
conservatives' proclivity toward the wrong side of arguments...

Pret Bjorn, RN, and so forth.
Former Inhaler.
But you probably wouldn't know to look at me.



-----Original Message-----
From: Russ Pasley [  <mailto:rpasley@marmotmountain.com>
mailto:rpasley@marmotmountain.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 3:30 PM
To: trauma-list@trauma.org
Subject: RE: Drug (ab)use in Medicine?


Dave,

As a "cop" would you enforce a law that you found to be morally wrong?
What about one you just didn't agree with?  I don't doubt that you can
wreck your car while stoned. You can also do that if you've been up all
night or trying to unwrap that burrito.  Those assault cases you speak of?
If someone is upset or unbalanced I doubt if the "weed" is what set them
over the edge.  I know someone who has AIDS and cancer.  They were
suffering from "wasting" dropping an alarming amount of weight.  He started
on some medicine that seemed to help.  The problem  is that it's  expensive
and he had to take periodic blood tests to make sure his liver (and
kidneys?) weren't being damaged.  Turns out this medicine was pretty toxic
stuff.  Then he got a medical marijuana card, started smoking, threw his
pills away, and gained his weight back.  So Dave, would you pop him for
smoking?  For possession?  What if he didn't live in California and instead
resided in your "neck of the woods"?  I'm not saying you have to like pot
or even agree that it should be decriminalized.  However there are a
multitude of things harmful to us that are legal, like eating too many
donuts (and of course tobacco and booze).  I would never advocate driving
while under the influence and certainly not working under the influence.
BUT how unfortunate that all those EMS personnel out there that like to
occasionally  have a toke on their own free time, as mature adults in a
free society, those who put their lives and health on the line daily in
order to save others,  well it's a crying shame that they have to sneak
around as dirty little criminals risking freedom and career.

Freedom all the way baby (as long as you don't hurt others)!!

Russ



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<P><FONT size=2><FONT face=Arial><FONT color=#800000>I'll admit going in that I 
haven't paid any attention to this conversation so far.&nbsp; Sometimes a thread 
has to linger awhile before it catches my attention.&nbsp; So frankly, I don't 
know whose side I'm joining here.&nbsp; It makes me feel so pure 
somehow...<BR><BR>Me, I say legalize 'em all.&nbsp; We've over-criminalized 
what's basically a health problem, and it's been our undoing.<BR><BR>In the 
absence of prohibition, farmers could grow poppies and cannabis alongside their 
corn (and tobacco), and sell their FDA-approved product legally--even with hefty 
federal and state taxes--at a price competitive with anybody in Columbia or 
Turkey.&nbsp; It'd put the cartels and the crime bosses and (some of) the 
terrorists out of business, practically overnight.&nbsp; The military approach 
has failed us for generations; I suggest we give free enterprise and American 
agricultural science a crack at it.<BR><BR>Removing the steep profit, in turn, 
amputates any financial incentive to push drugs to kids on the street--at least 
to the extent that we've been able to do as much for alcohol and tobacco.&nbsp; 
Not too impressive a track record, I grant you, but we're getting better at it 
every year.&nbsp; Dealers no longer get rich, and perhaps one or two would-be 
dealers opts for college instead.&nbsp; Fewer transactions ending in gunfire, 
fewer teens turning to prostitution and property crime... I'm not seeing a down 
side here.<BR><BR>Drug criminalization could well be guided by precisely the 
standards we've adopted for alcohol: provision or sale to minors remains 
prohibited, crimes committed while under the influence are compounded.&nbsp; 
Simple possession or use, however, is one's own business, and asking for help 
would no longer be synonymous with admitting you're a criminal.&nbsp;<BR><BR>For 
those of you who are wondering by now: I'm dead serious.&nbsp; Indeed, I'm 
baffled that there's any need even to debate.&nbsp; But nobody listens to 
me.</FONT></FONT></FONT></P>
<P><FONT size=2><FONT face=Arial><FONT color=#800000>I could go on and on, of 
course--I can go on and on about navel lint.&nbsp; But what fascinates me most 
about this whole issue is how liberals like me tend to take a demonstrably 
conservative approach to drug policy, while conservatives like Bush and Ashcroft 
favor strict government control.&nbsp;<BR><BR>How'd we ever end up THAT 
way?&nbsp; There has to be more to it than conservatives' proclivity toward the 
wrong side of arguments...<BR><BR>Pret Bjorn, RN, and so forth.<BR>Former 
Inhaler.<BR>But you probably wouldn't know to look at 
me.<BR><BR><BR><BR></FONT>-----Original Message-----<BR>From: Russ Pasley 
[</FONT><A href="mailto:rpasley@marmotmountain.com"><FONT 
face=Arial>mailto:rpasley@marmotmountain.com</FONT></A><FONT 
face=Arial>]<BR>Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 3:30 PM<BR>To: 
trauma-list@trauma.org<BR>Subject: RE: Drug (ab)use in 
Medicine?<BR><BR><BR>Dave,<BR><BR>As a "cop" would you enforce a law that you 
found to be morally wrong?<BR>What about one you just didn't agree with?&nbsp; I 
don't doubt that you can<BR>wreck your car while stoned. You can also do that if 
you've been up all<BR>night or trying to unwrap that burrito.&nbsp; Those 
assault cases you speak of?<BR>If someone is upset or unbalanced I doubt if the 
"weed" is what set them<BR>over the edge.&nbsp; I know someone who has AIDS and 
cancer.&nbsp; They were<BR>suffering from "wasting" dropping an alarming amount 
of weight.&nbsp; He started<BR>on some medicine that seemed to help.&nbsp; The 
problem&nbsp; is that it's&nbsp; expensive<BR>and he had to take periodic blood 
tests to make sure his liver (and<BR>kidneys?) weren't being damaged.&nbsp; 
Turns out this medicine was pretty toxic<BR>stuff.&nbsp; Then he got a medical 
marijuana card, started smoking, threw his<BR>pills away, and gained his weight 
back.&nbsp; So Dave, would you pop him for<BR>smoking?&nbsp; For 
possession?&nbsp; What if he didn't live in California and instead<BR>resided in 
your "neck of the woods"?&nbsp; I'm not saying you have to like pot<BR>or even 
agree that it should be decriminalized.&nbsp; However there are a<BR>multitude 
of things harmful to us that are legal, like eating too many<BR>donuts (and of 
course tobacco and booze).&nbsp; I would never advocate driving<BR>while under 
the influence and certainly not working under the influence.<BR>BUT how 
unfortunate that all those EMS personnel out there that like 
to<BR>occasionally&nbsp; have a toke on their own free time, as mature adults in 
a<BR>free society, those who put their lives and health on the line daily 
in<BR>order to save others,&nbsp; well it's a crying shame that they have to 
sneak<BR>around as dirty little criminals risking freedom and 
career.<BR><BR>Freedom all the way baby (as long as you don't hurt 
others)!!<BR><BR>Russ<BR><BR><BR><BR>--<BR>trauma-list : TRAUMA.ORG<BR>To change 
your settings or unsubscribe visit:<BR></FONT><A 
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