An epidemic of stupidity

Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

~ Robert A. Heinlein

Opioid Deaths: Another Drug War Failure

Illicit drug use is an old phenomenon, and Jeff Sessions has an old solution: take off the gloves. “We have too much of a tolerance for drug use,” the attorney general complained to an audience of law enforcement officials Wednesday, promising more aggressive policing. “Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs is bad,” he declared. “It will destroy your life.”

That claim will fall on a lot of deaf ears among the 100 million Americans who have used marijuana — most of whom found it did not destroy their lives and some of whom found it made their lives better.

He is right, though, that tolerance is rampant. A Gallup Poll last year showed that 60 percent of Americans think pot should be legalized for recreational use — as eight states and the District of Columbia have done. Medical marijuana is allowed in 28 states and D.C. But in his prepared remarks, Sessions insisted cannabis is “only slightly less awful” than heroin. [snip]

What we are dealing with is the liberal idea that whatever one wants to do is fine, it’s your body and society has nothing to say about it. That’s an idiotic idea; toss a stone into a pond and those ripples impinge upon everything in and bordering the pond.

People often use opioids to relieve pain. But “individuals with chronic pain and their medical providers may be opting to treat pain entirely or in part with medical marijuana, in states where this is legal,” said Johns Hopkins University professor Colleen Barry, the lead author. Sessions made a point of commenting on this unwelcome scientific data: “Give me a break.”

He paid lip service to “treatment and prevention,” but don’t expect much there. The Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have vowed to repeal, has been “the largest expansion of drug treatment in U.S. history,” according to Stanford University psychiatry professor Keith Humphreys. If they have their way, we can expect the largest contraction of drug treatment in U.S. history.

Promoting treatment goes against the approach long preferred by hard-line politicians. The most effective remedy for opioid addiction is medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, with drugs like methadone and buprenorphine. But if you’d like to stop shooting heroin, you may search in vain for help. [snip]

Zealous drug warriors bridle at anything except prohibition and abstinence. Closing down “pill mills,” where physicians allegedly over-prescribe opioids, is a favorite option. Such lifesaving measures as facilitating access to sterile syringes and naloxone, which is used to reverse overdoses before they kill, are inherently suspect.

The criminalization of opioid use often has fatal consequences, because it leaves addicts to obtain supplies from street dealers rather than pharmacists. The drugs they get may be surreptitiously laced with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids that are cheaper than prescription meds but much more potent — raising the overdose risk.

Crackdowns have other unhealthy side effects. “When the police shut down a local pill mill, they rarely identify the users and help them get treatment, and heroin and fentanyl dealers are quick to move in to exploit the new business opportunity,” writes New York University professor Mark A.R. Kleiman in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. “In 2014, deaths from overdosing on prescription opioids fell, but deaths from fentanyl overdoses almost doubled.” [snip]

If these bungholes want help getting off their jones, let them go back to the person that stuck the gun in their ear and said “TAKE THE DRUGS! STICK THAT SPIKE IN YOUR ARM! They’re the ones to ask for succor.

Frankly, I don’t care if you die. You’re not doing society anything worth a damn.

As for the rope smokers, if you can’t live except by altering your reality, excellent. Stay in your basement, get rid of your driver’s license and smoke your self to death.

Those of you that believe smoking the dope doesn’t impair you, Colorado traffic accidents and fatalities say otherwise. Since becoming legal, the number of traffic accidents involving potheads have gone up markedly, and death involving dope have increased too. In fact, Colorado has considered repealing the dope law.

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