Pubdate: Sun, 09 Nov 2003
Source: Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)
Copyright: 2003 Florida Today
Author: Donald Sammis


We recently heard of the personal tragedy of radio commentator Rush
Limbaugh, which we hope will work out for the best for him during and
after his treatment for drug addiction.

Perhaps this is a good time to re-examine the entire federal drug
policy in this country.

No thinking person can look at the results of the so-called war on
drugs and conclude it is anything but a disaster. I won't reiterate
all the pros and cons of the drug issue, but sooner or later we must
examine the whole issue of illegal and legal mind-altering drugs and
the respective policies both in the legal and illegal marketplace.
This, of course, bumps up against the current prescription drug debate.

We have segmented the management of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine,
crack, cocaine, opium and dozens of other mind-altering substances all
over the map, to the point there is no coherent view of the overall

The Limbaugh case points out the overlap between necessary
pharmacological prescriptions, doctors' fear of the Drug Enforcement
Agency, the legitimate needs of people for quality of life,
recreational misuse of legal and illegal drugs, and a meaningful
discussion of where medical necessity ends and recreational use begins.

We must explore this issue rationally.

Donald Sammis

- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin