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

Apr 30, 1998 00:31 AM
by Thoa Tran

When you compare the number of people taking prescribed legal drugs, their
health status (if they're healthy, they wouldn't have to go to the doctor),
etc., to the number of people taking illegal drugs, I'd say there's tricky
statistics going on.  Have you ever read a book on how statistics can be
manipulated to support one's point of view?  Someone on theos-l (Bart?)
posted a nonsensical statistical data that was manipulated to state that
eating a common food (tomato? carrot?) will cause death.

Thoa :o)

>>>>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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