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November 2003
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Something to do this afternoon if you’re in New York

Is the War on Drugs based on science or myth? Find out at an exciting book forum: “Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use”, by Jacob Sullum

“A welcome departure from the choreographed outrage of the War on Drugs” –Washington Post Book World

Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine and Todd Seavey of the […]

Cynical, but oddly appropriate to the drug war…

Ayn Rand writing in Atlas Shrugged (via FreedomSight):

Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We WANT them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule […]

Rock the Vote: Have you used marijuana?

Howard Dean: Yes John Kerry: Yes John Edwards: Yes Carol Moseley Braun: I’m not going to answer Dennis Kucinich: No, but I think it ought to be decriminalized Al Sharpton: I grew up in the church. We didn’t believe in that. Wesley Clark: Never used it Joseph Lieberman: I never used marijuana, sorry.

Transcript.

[…]

The DEA won’t ease your pain.

In today’s Village Voice: The DEA’s War on Pain Doctors by Frank Owen

Some in the medical community call it “a war on pain doctors,” others “a government jihad” or “state-sponsored terrorism.” However you describe the current campaign, which according to pain-patient advocates began under Janet Reno, but which they say has increased in intensity under John Ashcroft, the DEA’s hardball tacticsÖstorming clinics in SWAT-style gear, ransacking offices, and hauling off doctors in handcuffsÖhave scared physicians nationwide to the extent that legitimate pain sufferers now find it increasingly difficult to get the medicine they need. Doctors’ offices today display signs that say “Don’t ask for OxyContin” or “No OxyContin prescribed here.” And medical schools advise students not to choose pain management as a career because the field is too fraught with potential legal dangers.
“The war on drugs has turned into a war on doctors and pain patients,” says Dr. Ronald Myers, president of the American Pain Institute and a Baptist minister who operates a string of clinics for poor people in the Mississippi Delta. “Such is the climate of fear across the medical community that for every doctor who has his license yanked by the DEA, there are a hundred doctors scared to prescribe proper pain medication for fear of going to prison. The DEA is creating a situation where legitimate pain patients now have to go to the streets to get their medication. It’s a health care catastrophe in the making…”
…some doctors believe that the DEA, having conspicuously failed to stem the tide of illegal drug use in this country, is coming after physicians to ratchet up the agency’s prosecution count. (This year alone, two federal reviews lambasted the DEA for its poor performance in fighting illegal drug use, one report giving the agency a zero on a scale of one to 100.)

The entire article is excellent, and a real indictment of the policies of the DEA. I have an earlier post on the subject here.
Is there something just a little out of whack with the DEA? They’ve got a public relations problem, so they’re going around in full riot gear busting terminally ill medical marijuana patients, doctors, and bong makers. My suggestion? Next year reduce their budget by $1,897.300,000.