Pubdate: Sat, 07 Sep 2002
Source: Charleston Daily Mail (WV)
Copyright: 2002 Charleston Daily Mail
Author: Keith Sanders


I hank the Daily Mail for its recent editorial, "Personal: People have to 
take responsibility for the consequences of their acts," on the death of 
Rebecca Allen, who died after injecting OxyContin.

Though I don't know all the facts, her husband's suit against the drug's 
manufacturer certainly seems to reflect an abdication of personal 
responsibility for her misguided actions.

Then again, our federal, state and local governments have built a 
multibillion-dollar business, known as the war on (certain) drugs, around 
the idea that only they know which chemicals we are and aren't mature 
enough to use responsibly.

They've even seen fit to create dangerous consequences (like criminal 
records and jail time) for the use of marijuana, a benign plant the use of 
which has never been shown to have any long-term negative effects on health.

Last time I checked, we were throwing away $50 billion in tax dollars every 
year on price supports for criminal dealers, while doing exactly zero to 
reduce demand for illegal drugs or their availability, or to limit kids' 
access to drugs the way we do with age controls on alcohol and tobacco.

So perhaps we can forgive Mr. Allen for being a little confused about the 
proper role of "personal responsibility" in the realm of drug use and abuse.

Keith Sanders

Oakland, Calif.
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