Blogs > Liberty and Power > New Cato Paper on the DEA and Prescription Painkillers

Jun 6, 2005 9:27 am

New Cato Paper on the DEA and Prescription Painkillers

Cato releases what I think is an important paper this morning.

It's on the DEA's relentless pursuit of physicians who prescribe opioid painkillers -- OxyContin, for example.

The DEA's aggressive tactics have essentially condemned millions of Americans to suffer, despite the fact that we know there are treatments for them that work.

A couple of months ago, I wrote an op-ed about this issue. My piece provoked a response from DEA director Karen Tandy. Tandy's response was so fraught with duplicity and misdirection, I took it apart line by line on my website. The exchange is a fine example of just how manipulative this agency can be.

The Raich decision could come down today, too. And though the length of time it's taken the Supreme Court to reach a decision offers a small bit of promise (meaning there's at least been some debate on the case), the tone and direction of the questioning from the justices as the case was being argued doesn't bode well for liberty.

The breadth and depth of America's anti-drug hysteria is difficult to fathom sometimes. We have cops and politicians dictating medical treatment. And we're fully prepared to force people in pain to suffer, and sick people to die, if it means we can stop a small number of people from using certain drugs for non-medical reasons.

It's a pretty shameful reflection on our values and priorities.

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More Comments:

Stephen Francis Kislock III - 6/10/2005

Our [US] system of Injustice, is Insatiable.

Sudha Shenoy - 6/7/2005

Officials at the DEA are acting like exactly what they are: govt officials. To maintain & expand their funding, they have to notch up results, & impress those superior officials who determine allocations of tax revenues. What seems to others like Orwellian language, inconsistencies, illogicalities, etc. -- are simply ex post facto verbal smoke. The real driving force is the one which drives all officials: spend this year's allocations, demand more next year, multiply subordinates, not equals, etc. Does anyone read Parkinson's Law any more?

John Lopez - 6/6/2005

Dissenting view here: