Pubdate: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
Source: State, The (SC)
Copyright: 2001 The State
Author: Ben Traywick


Recent revelations about the futility and outrageous expense of this 
nation's "war on drugs" have left little doubt that philosophical 
adjustment of public policy on this matter is both wise and inevitable. 
Those who support the current policy of unselectively jailing the 
possessors and distributors of fundamentally different substances are 
either distressingly uninformed or stubbornly ignorant. Less clear than the 
obvious need for change in the area of criminal penalties for involvement 
with illegal drugs, but equally important, is the need for either the Food 
and Drug Administration or the American Medical Association to impose 
restrictions on the prescribing of completely legal, but extremely 
dangerous, psychoactive pharmaceuticals.

 From anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac to anti-anxiety drugs such 
as Xanax and Valium, it seems that any psychological malady can be remedied 
through the use of a certain chemical.

I pose this question: Are illegal psychoactive drugs frowned upon because 
they are habit-forming, impair judgment and disturb emotions, or simply 
because they are illegal? Completely legal prescription pharmaceuticals 
inflict the same "side" effects as street drugs. The likelihood of abuse is 

Massive pharmaceutical companies advertise these drugs on television and 
for merely mentioning the possibility of these side effects, these 
companies are exonerated of responsibility. Hey, that's capitalism, but 
someone must take responsibility.

The abuse of prescription drugs has reached epidemic proportion in this 
country, and the threat must be recognized as we reformulate our national 
drug control policy.


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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens