News media is raging about Trump’s opiate control bill, calling it “historic in it’s breadth”. Interesting how media that attack him on a daily basis support him on something like this. From what information has been released on this bill, I will agree. It is historic. Not in the way they describe, though.
What this bill is designed to do will expand the number of providers who can prescribe opiates. Yet at the same time place additional restrictions and monitoring of those prescriptions. It increases penalties for infractions at the provider level and for offenders.
Of course, it does not include investigation or penalty for pharmaceutical companies for blatant offenses which have made the opiate crisis so much worse than it is.
This bill will spend additional money and resources by many hundreds of millions a year for law enforcement. Meaning more arrests, more convictions, longer sentences. Paid for by you and I.
What this bill does not do or encourage is legalization of non-addictive pain medication alternatives, such as cannabis or Kratom. Both of which are low risk, low cost alternatives to opiate use for acute and chronic pain. Of course, that is the point, isn’t it?
This bill does not offer a single penny toward addiction treatment programs, which could prevent legal charges and long term complications of addiction. Of course, that is the point, isn’t it?
This bill has chilling potential. The potential to intimidate doctors treating legitimate chronic and even acute pain conditions using the most effective legal medications available to them at this time. Which will likely leave millions of patients suffering with daily pain and no place to turn, legally.
This bill will further stigmatize addiction as a crime, while ignoring all science and medical data which proves beyond doubt that addiction is an illness. Many millions of Americans are born with a genetic and possibly social predisposition to addiction. Many studies and practical illustrations in other countries have proven that treating addiction as an illness is more successful and costs far less than criminalization, while preserving families and lives far better. It even decreases property crime, as addicts are less likely to commit crimes because of withdrawal symptoms.
Make no mistake that this bill is fully intended as a further attack on minority populations, who tend to already be convicted on drug offenses in disproportionate numbers. Even when on an equal economic plane than white offenders, they are four times more likely to be convicted on drug offenses. This is compounded by well known economic conditions, leaving them less likely to afford both medical care and legal medications as opposed to turning to illegal choices. Choices which are dangerous enough to begin with. Now they face even greater punishment for making those choices.
It is no surprise that corporate media praises this bill. Look who advertises on corporate media channels. Drug companies. The drug companies who stand to lose no money at all on this bill. Their profits will remain intact. Chances are highest this bill will result in even higher prices for legal opiate medications for legitimate uses.
Drug companies will profit. Law enforcement agencies will profit. Corporate jail and prison contractors will profit. Our lives will be placed under greater restrictions, greater scrutiny. While we get to pay for all of it in many different ways.
I agree. This bill is historic. Mark it on your calendars because in a few years we will be looking back on the day it was signed into law. With horror.