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[ADRAVE-OZ] [AR] [Ratbag] Drugz and stuff (fwd)

Apr 29, 1998 07:28 PM
by Darren

>>>Legal drugs kill 20 times more Americans
>>>than illegal drugs, says embarrassing new study
>>>        WASHINGTON, DC -- Doctors kill far more people every year than
>>>drug pushers do -- a surprising fact that should make sensible
>>>Americans start to question the War on Drugs, the Libertarian Party
>>>said today.
>>>        Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that
>>>properly prescribed legal drugs kill 106,000 Americans every year -- 20
>>>times more than illegal drugs do.
>>>        "Are politicians going to declare a War on Medicine?" asked
>>>Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party chairman. "Of course not. So why are
>>>we spending $17 billion on the War on Drugs, arresting millions of
>>>people, and restricting civil liberties -- all to try to solve a
>>>problem that's far less dangerous than modern medicine?"
>>>        The study found that correctly prescribed medications claim
>>>106,000 lives a year because of toxic reactions. By comparison, only
>>>5,212 Americans die annually from illegal drugs like heroin and
>>>cocaine, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health
>>>        "This means that doctor-prescribed drugs kill 20 times more
>>>people every year than drugs peddled on street corners," said Dasbach.
>>>"Of course, more people take prescription medication than illegal
>>>drugs, so higher death totals are expected. But the point is that the
>>>health consequences of illegal drugs are vastly overstated by
>>>politicians -- apparently to justify the costly government program they
>>>call the War on Drugs."
>>>        In fact, Dasbach pointed out, the government admits that
>>>aspirin killed twice as many people last year as PCP and LSD combined!
>>>        "But don't expect a War on Aspirin," Dasbach said. "The
>>>government is less interested in protecting lives than in protecting
>>>the jobs of the government bureaucrats and law enforcement personnel
>>>who are on the Drug Prohibition payroll.
>>>        "For example, marijuana has caused no deaths, yet the
>>>government arrested 641,642 Americans last year on marijuana-related
>>>offenses, and is threatening to prosecute doctors who prescribe
>>>marijuana for victims of AIDS and cancer," he noted.
>>>        The fact is, the real health threat comes not from drugs, but
>>>from drug prohibition, Dasbach said.
>>>        "As Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman says, 5,000
>>>Americans are killed every year solely due to Prohibition-spawned
>>>violence -- meaning that outlawing drugs kills as many Americans every
>>>year as the drugs themselves," he said.
>>>        Dasbach emphasized that the Libertarian Party doesn't condone
>>>drug use.
>>>        "Too many lives have been ruined by drugs, whether legal or
>>>illegal -- and we mourn a lost life, no matter what the cause," he
>>>said. "But when the government arbitrarily decides which drugs to
>>>outlaw, it transforms a personal tragedy into a national disaster and
>>>turns a medical problem into a moral crusade.
>>>        "Politicians who focus obsessively on the drug war -- while
>>>ignoring the fact that other medical problems are far more deadly --
>>>have lost their grip on reality. As this new study makes clear, the War
>>>on Drugs has more to do with political posturing than with public
>>>health -- and that's why it's time to end it."
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