Pubdate: Sun, 07 May 2006
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2006 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Billy Mosteller


About three years ago, Rush Limbaugh confessed he had been addicted 
to prescription pain pills for years. He was arrested on a felony 
drug charge of prescription fraud on April 30.

However, his attorneys where able to cut a deal with prosecutors that 
will result in the charge being dropped if Limbaugh completes a drug 
rehab program and stays drug-free for 18 months.

On several occasions, Limbaugh has advocated tougher penalties for 
drug-users, stating that they should do prison time. His lawyers and 
the prosecution must not share this tough stance.

Can anything good come from such barefaced hypocrisy?

Perhaps if the far right can sympathize with a man who, like 
Limbaugh, accidentally became addicted to pain pills during treatment 
for back pain, they can learn to sympathize with drug abusers who 
tried an addictive substance as youths and became hooked. The latter 
usually are condemned as moral failures by the far right.

Despite the hypocrisy surrounding Limbaugh's bargain with 
prosecutors, the court did what was right: treating an addict as 
someone who needed help, not punishment; rehabilitation instead of 
incarceration. Hopefully, future courts can extend this reasonable, 
effective, compassionate approach to non-famous, non-white, non-rich 
drug offenders.

Billy Mosteller

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