Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Why, Post 9-11, Are Dems Still Fighting the Drug War?"

That's what Maia Szalavitz at the Huffington Post would like to know. And so would I.

(Although I wouldn't be so quick to bash Public Citizen, since they did defend SSDP pro-bono in our successful lawsuit against the Dept. of Education).

1 comment:

800 pound gorilla said...

As a knee jerk Libertarian my response would be: why don't we remove the obstacles for bringing suit for damages for use of drugs as described on disclosure?

The FDA should NOT have approval powers or be able to keep products off the market. They should enforce disclosure laws for products represented as having medical value. They should not regulate vitamin C - but they should require disclosure about stomach problems from taking too many vitamin C pills. If we had full disclosure and easier access to the civil court system for consumers [no so called "tort reform" that protects providers from real damages] we would have no need for criminal penalties for simple distribution of arbitrarily banned drugs. Of course we could start educating people about what drugs do - and don't do - in a health regimen. We could include teaching kids early on how drug sellers have lied to them about drugs - which our schools don't do today.

The problem with the FDA and DEA is that both agencies are too politicized. They are politicized because of the HUGE amount of political contributions. The FDA and the DEA are being run for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies - in response to their heavy contributions.

The biggest problem today with pharmaceuticals is that they are allowed to advertise for prescription medications - thus inducing pressure on doctors to over prescribe medications. Over reliance and dependency on prescription drugs - that are totally safe when used in moderation for 99.5% of users. But when drug ads represent over a third of advertising, that remedy is "not open for discussion". We can counter some of that advertising budget with public service education letting the public know how drug ads mislead - but with political contributions that is "not open for discussion".