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On November 15, Star reported that state police are keeping a list of people within state who buy painkillers prescribed by doctors. Yet six days later, paper announced that some of most addictive prescription drugs on market are not monitored at all in Indiana. This means that state is no more protecting us from prescription drug abuse than from illegal kind. And thanks to our misguided drug policies, only black market offers medical privacy.
Also on November 15, Star's web site carried an interview with Lt. Randall West, 31-year police veteran and head of Dangerous Drugs Section of Indianapolis Police Department. Lt. West said almost exactly what I did during my Libertarian campaign for Prosecutor: that "(a)s long as there's a profit in dealing drugs, we're pretty much fighting an uphill battle."
On November 19, Star reported that one Indianapolis pharmacy filled 120 prescriptions of narcotic OxyContin for Colts' owner Jim Irsay. The article said that in one 24-day period last spring, Irsay got 400 tablets of narcotic. This quantity is almost a year's supply for thousands of other chronic pain-sufferers who needlessly struggle to get their needs met through our present system.
The Libertarian solution to our present drug mess is to treat everyone as if they owned an NFL franchise. Return to people freedom to treat their own conditions any way they choose – just like rich Americans can now – with strong doses of expert consultation from doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists, and other health professionals. We shouldn’t have to be rich and fly to a foreign country to get our drug needs met. Advancing freedom of choice and self-responsibility, as opposed to governmental control, will improve health, cut costs and save lives.
November 23 was also a big day in drug news. The Star reported 1) that Damen Lake, a felon caught in a high speed car chase, was a crack addict wanted for robbery, 2) that an Indianapolis drug distribution company was fined $350,000 by DEA because "hundreds of thousands of dosage units of controlled substances, such as hydrocodone and Tylenol with codeine, were missing," and 3) that a prominent Indianapolis plastic surgeon who supplied Irsay surrendered his federal permit to prescribe narcotics.
I have to hand it to Indianapolis Star newspaper and WTHR television. Their reporters definitely give us enough information to make good political decisions. Almost without exception, their numerous drug stories in November 2002 factually demonstrate Libertarian view that drug prohibition cannot succeed and that it does far more harm than good.
I suspect November 2002 is similar in drug news to that of today. I invite you to use your local media to chronicle destructiveness of our drug policies in your community. If it weren’t for prohibition, there would be fewer drug store heists, car thefts, prescription abuses, car chases, murders, and acts of terrorism. There would be less bad news to report.
The solution is political. It means voting against political parties that gave us our dysfunctional and destructive drug policies. The ultimate solution is to free everyone from others' control. That is meaning of liberty. What are we waiting for?
Attorney, screenwriter and Libertarian Party activist in Indianapolis