The clear, but unspoken, arguments for legalization

AP article

Nearly a third of all cocaine seized in the United States is laced with a dangerous veterinary medicine รขโ‚ฌโ€ a livestock de-worming drug that might enhance cocaine’s effects but has been blamed in at least three deaths and scores of serious illnesses.

Sound familiar? Remember the rash of deaths from fentanyl-tainted heroin? Similar situation (although it doesn’t appear that levamisole is quite as dangerous as fentanyl).

So, what kind of information do we have to help people, when it’s part of a black market item?

“I would think it would be fair to say the vast majority of doctors in the United States have no idea this is going on,” said Eric Lavonas, assistant director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver, where as much as half of the cocaine is believed to contain levamisole. “You can’t diagnose a disease you’ve never heard of.” […]

“It’s hard to know where this contamination (is), in what part of the country it’s located, because there’s really no systematic testing for it,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, health officer for the Spokane area.

In other words, we got nothing. Unless you want to count DEA spokesman Paul Knierim’s glib and unhelpful remark:

“I think the message is the same: Don’t use cocaine, it’s a dangerous drug,” Knierim said.

Would that be his message if his whisky was adulterated with oil of creosote or industrial plasticizer as it might have been during alcohol prohibition?

Throughout the article, when reading the speculation for why cocaine may be cut with levamisole, you realize that every aspect of it is an indictment of prohibition.

The solution is clear, but always unspoken. Legalize and regulate.

Health officials including Lavonas say the public needs to be warned about the dangers.

“It’s not like you can put it on the bottle,” he said.


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6 Responses to The clear, but unspoken, arguments for legalization

  1. Voletear says:

    At least none of the bastards has claimed that Prohibition is essential to keeping the intestinal parasite problem down in the US. I just can’t wait to see how this one ends up being spun.

  2. allan420 says:

    Hiya Voletear… long time no see. And 3 deaths? Hell, climbing ladders is more dangerous. So is having a SWAT team break down your door…

  3. Buc says:

    I’m sure this news wouldn’t stop Rick James.

    He still thinks, wherever he is, that cocaine is one hell of a drug.

  4. tommy says:

    So… is this part of the conspiracy by the evil dope dealers to uh… deworm America?

  5. Drew says:

    My brother’s absinth is already available in foreign lands, but is undergoing approval for sale in the U.S.

    Personally I think the stuff tastes disgusting, I never liked those black jelly beans. But then again people think I’m crazy for liking beer so dark you can’t see through it and a flavor like burnt coffee and chocolate. Gimme a Guinness any day over Absinth. ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, I’m not sure there’s enough wormwood in it to live up to that herb’s name. But being a plant-lover I planted one in the yard anyway.

    Personally I am eager to get started planting cannabis!

  6. BruceM says:

    Nearly a third of all cocaine seized in the United States is laced…

    No way in hell I’m going to take that claim at face value. It’s probably a case of drug warrior math where 0.3% means 1/3.

    Also, what is the definition of “laced”? All orange juice is “laced” with up to 4 insect parts per gallon (or something like that, forget the actual USDA regulation). Peanut butter can be “laced” with up to something like 1 gram of rat feces per pound. Fish is “laced” with mercury. Water is “laced” with chlorine. The question isn’t whether there is an adulterant or impurity in a product, the question is whether it’s at dangerous concentrations.

    Regardless, if cocaine were legal and manufactured under controlled conditions by Recreational Drugs of America, Inc., under the same quality standards used to manufacture Tylenol and Cocoa-Crispies, dangerous levels of adulterants wouldn’t be a problem.

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