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October 4, 2018

"The Cure for America's Opioid Crisis? End the War on Drugs"

The title of this post is the title of this new paper now available via SSRN and authored by Christine Minhee and Steve Calandrillo.  Here is its abstract:

The War on Drugs.  What began as a battle waged on morals has in fact created multiple public health crises, and no recent phenomenon illustrates this in more macabre detail than America’s opioid disaster. Last year alone amassed a higher death toll than the totality of American military casualties in the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars combined.  With this wave of mortalities came an accompanying tidal crash of parens patriae lawsuits filed by states, counties, and cities on the theory that jurisdictions are entitled to recompense for the costs of addiction ostensibly created by Big Pharma.  To those attuned to the failures of the Iron Law of Prohibition, this litigation-fueled blame game functions merely as a Band-Aid over a deeply infected wound.

This Article synthesizes empirical economic impact data to paint a clearer picture of the role that drug prohibition has played in the devastation of American communities, exposes parens patriae litigation as a misguided attempt at retribution rather than deterrence, and calls for the legal and political decriminalization of opiates.  We reveal that America’s fear of decriminalization has at its root the “chemical hook” fallacy — a holdover from Nancy Reagan-era drug policy that has been debunked by far less wealthy countries like Switzerland and Portugal, whose economies have already benefited from discarding the War on Drugs as an irrational and expensive approach to public health.  We argue that the legal and political acceptance of addiction as a public health issue — not the view that addiction is a moral failure to scourge — is the only rational, fiscally responsible option left to a country that badly needs both a prophylactic against future waves of heavy opioid casualties, and restored faith in its own criminal justice system.

October 4, 2018 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


Opiod crisis solution is simple, but will never get implemented.

1. Feds get some courage and prosecute and fine big pharma bigtime. $200 billion

2. Outlets that ship way too much to clinics & Drs, shut them down, take all their assets.

3. Imprison Drs that are pushing the opiods. So called pain management clinics.

Its a huge money maker and the feds are afraid they may loose the trial, so they fine big
pharma lightly, so it looks good.

There is absolutely no reason on earth to ever prescribe opiods to people walking around on the street. Again, if you can walk and arent in a hospital, no opiods or oxycodine etc or their close drug litter mates.

This entire mess is such a sad mess. Why have U S senatirs & congressmen. Doing squat for us.

Justice deot needs to be gutted and replced with college age attys.

Oh well, problem with my ghinking its too rational and direct. America will oussy foot around for another 25 yrs status quo.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Oct 4, 2018 12:06:01 PM

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