Washington’s Drug Addiction

Look no further than our capital for the nation’s most dangerous drug addiction: Our entire lawmaking system’s dependence on drug companies.

Congress passing a law by unanimous consent, signed by President Barack Obama, gutting the DEA’s ability to combat the drug industry’s dumping of opioids into the hands of corrupt doctors and pharmacies? Huh?

This is way bigger than one complicit Trump nominee for drug czar getting canned. The Washington Post/CBS revelation that provoked that nominal personnel change indicts the real Washington swamp — a city so full of bipartisan bribery that even profiteers who caused a deadly drug epidemic get the green light with no objections raised.

All of a sudden lawmakers say they didn’t know what they voted for when the a law was passed to allow this? I’m guessing many knew exactly what the industry’s campaign gifts were meant to accomplish.

Unanimously passed, signed by a Democratic president — if no one knew what they were doing, at best it was pitifully incompetent. Sadly, it appears to be more than that.

[Cross-posted via HuffPost]

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31 thoughts on “Washington’s Drug Addiction”

  1. from the deseret news, a comment by his democrat opponent about the republican senator and powerful committee chairman who received the biggest blood money drug donation of distributors:

    Wilson blasted Hatch’s reaction to the news story, saying it illustrates everything that’s wrong with Washington.

    “Hatch has jumped into action to defend his reputation, his lobbyist connections, and his fundraising,” she said in a statement.

    The law costs lives, Wilson said.

    “Now it has cost Marino his next cushy Washington job. But it has cost Hatch nothing, except clearing his schedule for a round-robin game of finger-pointing and excuse-making,” she said.

  2. must say ole orrin knows how to cover all bases

    forbes article last month:  GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch Pushes Medical Marijuana As Opioid Alternative

    A conservative Republican U.S. senator spoke about the “possible benefits of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids” on the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon, and introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at expanding cannabis research.

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has represented Utah in Congress since 1977, has historically not been a champion of marijuana law reform, and continues to oppose full recreational legalization.

    But in a floor speech he said that “in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis.”

    “While I certainly do not support the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the evidence shows that cannabis possesses medicinal properties that can truly change people’s lives for the better,” the senator said. “And I believe, Mr. President, that we would be remiss if we threw out the baby with the bathwater.”

     

     

    Hatch’s new bill, the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017 would ease researchers’ access to marijuana for studies on its medical benefits and would require the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop recommendations for good manufacturing practices for growing and producing cannabis for research.

    In a pun-filled statement about the legislation, Hatch said it is “high time to address research into medical marijuana,” adding:

    “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”

    […continues…]

  3. and on another subject, from today’s guardian story “Trump & Russia: Sex, Spies and Scandal review – a perilous land of Oz, without the whimsy

    Matt Frei’s documentary is almost overwhelming – especially for those trying to avoid bad news….”

    [….]

    To have so many of the gaps in that smattering of knowledge filled in – or, if you are better informed, to have it so remorselessly and comprehensively laid out before you all at once – in last night’s Dispatches documentary Trump & Russia: Sex, Spies and Scandal (Channel 4) was almost overwhelming. And – as the title suggests – it concentrated only on, you know, the Russian thing. You could have a whole series on the man: Trump & Sexual Predation: Pussy-Grabbing, Multiple Allegations of Assault and Scandal. Trump & Business: Inheritance, Multiple Bankruptcies and Not Really Knowing What You’re Doing So That You Now Have Less Than If You’d Put That Inheritance in a High Interest Current Account. Trump & Democracy: Not, So, Much.

    Presented by Matt Frei, the documentary’s thorough disentanglement of the connections and relationships between Trump, his campaign – and family – members and the former Soviet Union left you feeling as if you had been caught up in a hurricane and deposited at the end in an entirely new country. But we live there now. We live in a land in which the US president has private hour-long chats with the president of Russia whom he praises in public while the American intelligence services look on aghast. In which the leader of the free world and some of the people he appoints to the highest offices have financial links to Moscow’s businessmen that could compromise them at every turn, and those in slightly less high offices are appointed after a vetting process mostly comprising cursory Google searches. And in which the US president may have only come to have that position as a result of his Muscovite comrades hacking US systems and disseminating anti-Clinton propaganda.

    The only real question left, as Frei noted, was whether his campaign actively colluded in that hacking. As journalist Franklin Foer puts it – it’s a circumstantial case, but there are a lot of circumstances. Numerous unrecorded meetings between campaign members and senior Russian figures. Millions of dollars washing back and forth. The firing of FBI director James Comey after – according to Comey – he refused to go easy on the hacking investigation. The list goes on and yet, somehow, has not yet amounted to anything anyone can act on in any meaningful way. So, on we go, as Saharan sands and smoke from fires obscure the sun, trying to navigate this perilous land of Oz-without-the-whimsy, no yellow brick road to guide us, hoping that someone pulls the curtain back in time.

  4. Good post, good comments, patd.   The full circle of addiction and politicians have the rehab end also covered at great cost to user, anshutz comes to mind, promoter of gorsuch.

    Don’t forget about jailed pharma bro…new claim on wonder drugs.

    (shkreli might be drinking too much toilet merlot)

  5. We could always go back to the liquor & poppy juice laced patent serums sold off the back of a town to town cart.  Probably fewer dead people and not nearly as much cash sloshing around Congress since the film flam men were keeping it all for themselves.

    Seems like a good place for the Old Crow Medicine Show

     

  6. Today’s trail is a weird trip. Orrin Hatch! Immediately thought of the classic Dragnet episode about the child who drown in the bathtub because the babysitter got high.

    We’ve been drug users, drug pushers & drug suppliers since before Jamestown. If a buck can be made, a buck will be made.

     

     

  7. nice readers on the topic, thanks for the links. Like everything else, without serious campaign finance reform, and probably a constitutional amendment, not a whole lot to do about it

  8. Let us not forget about the users, Craig.  Drugs are a rite of passage in schools and universities.  During my college years in the early 1970’s it was rumored that nixon/cia flooded the college campuses with quaaludes.  From personal experience?  I believe that was true.  The disco biscuit was so useful, cosby couldn’t give them up even though the US quit selling the drug.   The origins of date rape surely are tied to the quaalude.   They were everywhere in the US and in many parent’s medicine cabinets we went through when visiting.   Doctors were prescribing them by the hundreds and they showed-up by the hundreds on campus.  3 for $1.00.

  9. From Rollingstone, 1973…the Soper Story (I had forgotten quaaludes were called sopers and we called them ‘714’s’).  Certainly a timely piece as the ‘drug lingo’ is a bit different.

  10. I’m still upset about the ban on Quaaludes.  Science comes up with the almost perfect sleeping pill with minimal side effects if used properly.  I took them very rarely and really appreciated them when needed.  Then it becomes the date rape drug of choice and the darling of the dance clubs.  There went my sleeping pill since I wouldn’t take any of the much more harmful alternatives.

    Remind me to punch Cosby and his ilk in the nose!!  At least that way they could be unconscious.

     

  11. Yup…  it’s legalized bribery thanks to the Supreme Court….   on both sides.  This is one subject we can’t lay at the feet of only republicans.  I saw the segment on 60 Minutes.  Not one Democratic Senator or St. Bernie objected.  And I am very disappointed with Obama for signing that bill into law.

    OTOH…  yup…  people have been getting high on one substance or another for thousands of years.  Addiction is complicated….  but to start is a choice.

  12. Maybe the state “laboratories” can kick in — now in South Dakota: Ethics amendment campaign submits signatures for 2018 ballot

    Not clear to me whether this addresses independent spending but I like how it is carefully written to prevent the legislature from messing with it. And guess who’s fighting it? The good ole Koch boys.

    The beauty of state amendments is they can override the Supreme Court — for example Florida put privacy rights (abortion) in its constitution and SCOTUS backed off. It’d be a way for states to nullify Citizens United.

  13. I’ve tweeted for years about my disdain for BigPharma. Pharmaceutical companies do not give a rats ass about you and me. They have no vested interest in really helping anyone but themselves and their bottom line. The PTB in government are no better especially since the GOP took over. I could write a book about the evils of BigPharma and how naive most people are about taking whatever prescriptions your sweet old neighborhood family doctor (extinct breed joke) writes out for you. Most doctors don’t know enough about drugs to really know what they’re doing when they prescribe meds. They consult their PDR for which drugs to use, which is a joke! Regular average everyday folks are becoming heroin addicts because of BigPharma.  I discovered how evil they are a few years ago when someone I’m very close to became a heroin addict after being prescribed highly addictive pain drugs during a medical crisis. By the time they no longer had the physical problem they were hooked. Once the prescriptions are cut off these people end up hitting the streets to find alternatives. Don’t say “it couldn’t happen to me” because addiction is insidious. Unless you are totally diligent in refusing any prescriptions that that could possibly contain addictive substances, it could indeed happen to you! That person had to go through years of treatment and eventually came out on the positive side and recovered their health, happiness and livelihood. Many do not fair so well. This week I learned of another person that I know who is now having to go through treatment for heroin addiction that she acquired through the same prescription path. She was a young mother with a lovely family and a great job and now she’s fighting to get back all that she’s lost! Please beware when you take meds prescribed by your doctor. I haven’t taken any prescription meds in many years. I had many health issues but after a lot of research I changed my diet and changed my life. As Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine…”

     

  14. A few docs and pharms have been busted but not enough

    Heroin is cheaper and easier to get … oy

    “Everybody likes to get high”  Michael Pollen in the Botany of Desire

    And I would like to say before we get too far into this conversation that pot IS NOT a gateway drug that is just unsupportable bullshit.

  15. We went to Santa Rosa and it is sad, smelly and everyone is wearing a mask.   To get to our destination we had to loop around on the freeway as the nearest exits are closed.

    The air quality is bad and I think we will stay away for the time being.  We saw a little of one of the neighborhoods close to the freeway and it looks like pictures of Dresden.   The magnitude of the problem is so overwhelming it is almost paralyzing.  It looks to me like local folks know what to do – it’s how it will get done that’s problem, some about money but a lot about workers.   The people displaced from employment are not the people who will be doing re-building.

     

  16. In S.D. the koch’s and their chief tool object to an ethics commission policing the pols. S.D. is very important to the koch’s wallets cuz of the keystone pipeline. Therefore, the kochs keep close to the pols wallets.

    Very soon however, the proposed ethics commission will be peopled with koch employees and koch employee spouses. In Indian-rich S.D. there won’t be a single Native American on the commission. We see this effect in big city police oversight commissions, which are loaded with ex-cops, cops’ relatives, and the inevitable single representative of the police department – allegedly ‘to keep things fair’ or ‘give the other side of the story’. One can only assume that as soon as the commission is set up, the repub legislature and gov will collude to amend the Amendment, making room for a permanent seat on the commission to be filled by some lobbyist. This way the best interests of the crooks will be ‘dealt with fairly’, as the lobbyist will ‘give the other side of the story,’ too.

  17. Ms Cracker,

    No more than tobacco, potato chips, or mother’s milk are gateways.

    It stinks that a poor black 18 year old mom can sell a joint in WV and get a couple years in the pokey, while a 60 year old Pharma CEO can kill a third of the people in a hundred villages and towns and get nothing worse than a shiny award from the chamber of commies, and a high praise in the right wing weekly shoppers of every afflicted town.

    Sexism ? Racism ? Agism ? Classism ? Clubism ? All of the aforementioned ?

  18. trump continues his extraordinary run of telling an incredible 6 whopping lies per day. At this rate, next Monday he will have squatted 9 months in the White House and told an astonishing 1,620 YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUJ lies. This effort will shatter the present record grand total of 1,606 superbullshits amassed by richard nixon over a period of 6 and a half years by 14 woppers !

    Also at this rate, by the end of his first year in office, the blowhard phony could have 2,190 lies under his belt, more than equaling the record of the first twenty US presidents combined, with enough room left over for spiro t. agnew.

  19. Corruption remains the leading ill of this country, brought on by addiction to political money and outright bribery.

    Not much of value can be achieved, as long as those who are prosperous today pay enough to keep things from changing tomorrow.

  20. I see from the pics that trump was tossing koch Northern brand paper towels. Product placement for koch kaka.

  21. if an opiod prescription is necessary, perhaps it should be dispensed in a dose by dose container wherein the doses become smaller a little at a time until one can tolerate the pain, have less need for drug and suffer no withdrawal problems.  should be easy enough nowadays with computer calculations to refine the prescriptions; calculating a matrix of age, sex, weight, disease/surgery and expected pain level; and diminishing as the days go by.

    feel free to get a patent on my idea and save some lives out there

  22. is it just my imagination or merely a coincidence that — given it’s a black president or a black congresswoman or a dead black soldier or kneeling black football players — one can conclude the twit doesn’t like black folk?  seems mostly he picks on, calls liars and rants about their un-patriotic behavior to the exclusion of other type folk…

    just asking   🙂

  23. chris cilizza at  cnn:

    President Donald Trump sent this tweet on Thursday morning: “Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?”

    [….]

    But even by Trump standards, this morning’s tweet is somewhat remarkable. He is suggesting that a dossier prepared by a former member of British intelligence has not only been totally discredited (it hasn’t — more on that in a minute) but that it might have been funded by some combination of Russia, the Democratic Party and, wait for it, the FBI!

    [….]
    Wrote CNN’s Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown earlier this month of the Steele dossier:
    “Its broad assertion that Russia waged a campaign to interfere in the election is now accepted as fact by the US intelligence community. CNN also reported earlier this year that US investigators have corroborated some aspects of the dossier, specifically that some of the communications among foreign nationals mentioned in the memos did actually take place.”
    Investigators tied to special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election have also sat down with Steele to discuss the dossier and his findings, according to CNN reporting. The firm hired to produce the dossier — Fusion GPS — is refusing to testify before Congress about its involvement. (Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson spent 10 hours meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee staff back in August.)

    Trump has the fact of that refusal basically right. But his assertions that the dossier is fake news, “totally made-up stuff” or, as was the case in Thursday’s tweet, “discredited” are not born out by the facts as we know them. “Not corroborated” is not the same thing as “not true.” Some (many?) of the allegations in the Steele dossier may be untrue. But we simply don’t have enough information to conclude that they are at the moment.
    So Trump is wrong about the dossier being “discredited and Fake.” (He is also wrong about capitalizing “fake” in that sentence. But, I digress.)
    The bigger issue — at least to me — is that Trump is suggesting that the dossier itself was funded by some combination of a foreign power, the opposition political party and a federal law enforcement agency.
    It’s easy to roll your eyes at the very suggestion and dismiss that idea as just Trump being Trump. “You guys always take him literally,” Trump’s supporters will say. “You shouldn’t!”
    OK. But here’s the thing: President Trump is, um, the President. Which means he is held to the same standard every past president is held to. And by that standard, this tweet is crazy.
    […continues…]

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