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February 2010
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An Opportunity

The release of the new Drug Policy Budget Request isn’t just a time for us to moan about the lack of change, the power of the entrenched interests, or the failure of the system.

It’s an opportunity to write letters to the editor.

Everybody knows that we’re out of money, that states are scraping to find ways to pay for critical services, that towns can’t afford to fix potholes, and that the federal government has sold our mortgage to China. This is a great opportunity to ask people why we’re actually increasing the budget for programs that have been demonstrated (by the government) to be failures and do nothing but make drug kingpins rich at taxpayer expense.

Get enough of these letters printed around the country and the Representatives in Congress are going to start noticing (you can also, of course, write your Representative directly, but don’t ignore the power of the LTE). Here are some tips.

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8 comments to An Opportunity

  • iDub

    am i the first to think of this as a conspiracy by Obama to actually push public towards a popular uprising which would amount to political power necessary for reform?

    maybe i’m just starting too early…

  • kaptinemo

    iDub, whether it’s intentional or not, it could end up that way.

    I’ve been jumping up and down and pointing for YEARS at the National Debt lynch-pin that holds the DrugWar caboose to the economic train.

    At the beginning of this century, most don’t realize that, fictional Clinton ‘surplus’ aside, the reality was that we were still in hock to the big shot banksters, and I wasn’t the only person who was warning that a war was on the horizon to ‘prime the economic pump’. At that time, it was thought the war would be in Colombia; 9/11 was surprise only that it happened on our shores, not that it would happen at all. But it opened the door for a war to ‘save’ the debt-ridden economy. At least, save it for those banksters.

    And needless to say, part of the ‘pump-priming’ was funding (through borrowed Chinese and Japanese money) the US Gub’mint’s War on (Some) Drugs.

    Well, here we are, flat busted broke from all that war spending earlier this decade, and the bill’s due. Time to cinch in the belts, for real. But Uncle still wants to act like the sky’s the limit.

    Time to grab the old coot by the ear and yell loud enough so that he hears above the bankster gibberish that the game’s over, no more money for anything but basic needs like life-support programs. Otherwise, it’s ‘Weimar Republic, here we come’. And that led to Hitler’s rise. And despite what happened during the Bush Too years, we haven’t had a real home-grown Hitler…yet.

  • ezrydn

    Talk about a “sickness.” Anyone peruse the story today titled “US Can Kill Americans Abroad?” I thought we had rules for how we approach Americans. Evidently, that’s not the case any longer. Unkle Sambo feels it’s ok to kill Americans, no matter where they’re to be found, at home or abroad. Sick! They need to change the lyrics of the song. It’s no longer the “Home of the Brave, Land of the Free.” The “brown shirts” would love America today.

  • Just me

    Its a sick world we live in and our leaders enable it by if not doing nothing to stop it…they help this sickness florish by supporting the very law that has caused this sickness. You have to be a sick person yourself to stand by and say your law is the cure and believe than lie.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100204/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_drug_war_no_refuge

  • Just me

    …your law is the cure and believe that* lie.
    (correction)

  • claygooding

    WASHINGTON — New regulations requiring private group health insurance plans to offer benefits for treatment of substance abuse disorders that are comparable to benefits for other illnesses will help remove a barrier to treatment for millions of Americans, National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Gil Kerlikowske said today.
    The rules, issued January 29th by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, are expected to be finalized in the spring. They will take effect for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010. The rules prohibit group health insurance plans – typically offered by employers – from restricting access to care for mental health or substance use disorders by limiting benefits and requiring higher patient costs than those that apply to general medical or surgical benefits.
    The rules begin to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The law applies to employers with 50 or more workers whose group health plans offer mental health or substance use disorder benefits.
    “These regulations build on the excellent work of the Congress and will make critically needed services available to the millions of Americans who are struggling with addiction,” said Director Kerlikowske.
    Director Kerlikowske also said that the new law should help close the “treatment gap”. In 2008, 23.1 million Americans age 12 and older met the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse problems or dependence. However, only 2.3 million received treatment at a specialty treatment center. One reason for the gap is that insurance coverage for such care is often minimal, said Kerlikowske.
    Studies have shown that substance abusers incur higher medical costs than those who are receiving treatment for abuse. Major costs include emergency room visits and hospitalization. Families of untreated substance abusers also have higher medical costs than families of those who are getting treatment, according to a study. Other studies show that evidence-based treatments for substance dependence reduce medical costs significantly.
    ONDCP Deputy Director A. Thomas McLellan commented that “the parity law and these regulations codify what we have long-known to be true: Addiction is a chronic illness that should be covered by insurance under the same terms as other chronic illnesses. This opens another pathway to recovery for countless Americans who have a drug or alcohol problem.”
    The interim final rules were developed based on the three departments’ review of public comments. Further comments are being solicited during a 90-day period following publication of the interim rules

    Waiting to see how this plays out with the insurance companies,especially with marijuana addiction,which has a lower addiction rate than caffeine.
    Very interesting that this is being announced by the drug czar and not by one of the health care supporters.

  • On letter writing… if no direct subject articles are available go to: http://www.mapinc.org/media.htm and go to the list by area, use the scroll down button, find your state and every paper in MAP’s database in your state is there. Best chances to see print comes from letters submitted to your local rags.

  • kaptinemo

    Clay, I consider this latest move to just fatten the coffers of the ‘treatment’ industry. It’s about as bald-facedly mendacious as it gets. A p*ss-poor way of ‘stimulating’ the economy by trying to create a category of illness that doesn’t exist to increase revenues from more ‘referrals’ by law enforcement.

    At least until the matter can be brought up in court. IMHO, what’s always been needed was a court case in which the DrugWarriors are placed under oath as the veracity of their claims. To paraphrase a popular saying from a movie a few years back, “Show me the peer-reviewed research!”

    They can’t. All the studies they built their case for prohibition on after the fact (Anslinger had nothing but the testimony of the ‘crazy dog doctor’) have has been refuted already. All that’s left have been the accurate ones (Indian Hemp Commission, Panama Canal Study, LaGuardia Study, etc.) that have been officially ignored…and that, in and of itself, could get politically radioactive real fast.

    Prohibition, itself must be put on trial, someday, just as the concept of Evolution was last century in the Scopes Trial. That’s one way the insanity could end…