Late Night: Obama Says-Drugs Aren’t a Health Issue, They’re a Legal Matter

While President Obama told Law Enforcement Against Prohibition member MacKenzie Allen, a retired deputy sheriff during an interview with the organization:

We have to think more about drugs as a public health problem

his comments on the new federal drug new budget show things in a different light.

But Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has a different view towards Ecstasy. They printed up a flier for distribution at raves which gave

tips such as “aim low” in both dose and frequency of the hallucinogen and to take regular breaks to let the body rest…

And ignored the legality. The fliers state that effects of Ecstasy

may include elevated mood and energy, enhanced sensations and a sense of emotional connectedness,” but also warn that it can lead to depression, anxiety and irritability.

It also says repeated Ecstasy use should be avoided. It’s a pretty wimpy attempt to tell people

Hey this stuff is BAD for you and you could go to jail!

The fliers were developed by county health officials and paid for by rave promoters after over 100 people were hospitalized at a series of huge raves at publicly owned facilities such as the Coliseum and L.A. Sports Arena which are rented by the gianormous party promoters.

L.A. city and county officials did not ban the raves, even after a 15 year-old girl died of an Ecstasy overdose in July, and the flier is the result of a task force convened to study the matter.

County Supervisor Mike Antonovich raised a ruckus and Public Health officials said they would immediately  revise the card

to further and more emphatically state that illegal drug use is dangerous.

I hope they didn’t print up a forest worth of these useless fliers.

Pot isn’t Ecstasy, and yet LA County at least recognizes the health issues of drug use. Drug use is health issue–pot and be very helpful for people who are ill, while drug addiction is a public health issue which should be addressed with treatment and harm reduction, rather than imprisonment.

54 Responses to "Late Night: Obama Says-Drugs Aren’t a Health Issue, They’re a Legal Matter"
Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:03 pm 1

Treatment would be cheaper than imprisonment. But we have a prison based economy.


Suzanne | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:04 pm 2

lisa!


newtonusr | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:08 pm 3
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 1

But what about the prison guards unions children?


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:08 pm 4

Lisa!

We squander far too many resources and lives treating drug abuse as a crime when treating it as a medical problem, which it is, would be both more effective and less costly of both lives and treasure.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:08 pm 5

ANd this just breaking–Coliseum GM resigned today


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:09 pm 6

LISA!
A recent study has determined that long term ecstasy use has no deleterious effects on the mind or one’s mental capacity and reasoning ability, contradicting earlier, (government funded), studies. Though I’ve never taken X, (having not become available until after that phase of my life), I was a huge fan of it’s parent MDA during my misspent youth and could have told them that A) it is not in the least addictive and B) I suffered no adverse effects from it. In fact it enhanced my creativity. I thought of it as the perfect recreational drug. This puritanical approach to drug use is just about as backwards as oil lamp illumination.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:09 pm 7
In response to newtonusr @ 3

Will no one think of the prison-industrial complex?


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:10 pm 8
In response to DrDick @ 7

I wish no one would.


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:11 pm 9

Saw this piece earlier DrD and thought of you.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:12 pm 10

Obama is such a spineless wimp. Still, gotta keep those DEA people in a job, right?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:14 pm 11
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 10

And DEA/law enforcement=really cool weapons!


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:18 pm 12
In response to Margaret @ 6

I have not seen the study you refer to, but think that may depend on a variety of contextual factors. Ecstasy and MDA (which I also tried and enjoyed) are amphetamines (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine for X and 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine for MDA), so I can see some potential for significant health issues.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:18 pm 13
In response to Margaret @ 6

MMDA (ecstasy) seems not too good for you.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:18 pm 14
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 11

Bang! Bang! Zap! Ka-powie!


marksb | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:19 pm 15

Antonovich is a nightmare, the penultimate conservative Republican on the board of supervisors. Among other dubious achievements, he fought tooth and nail against the federal court-ordered redistricting of supervisoral districts to increase the chance of Hispanic representation. Antonovich called this

“a reckless joy ride of judicial activism” and hoped an appeal would support “the taxpayers of L.A. County.”

(Wiki)

The guy’s a real winner, but he’s damned powerful in LA.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:22 pm 16
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 10

I would have to read the original journal article, but from that report, I would have to say there is not much there there. The real comparison is not between early and late modern humans, but between modern humans and earlier forms, including archaic Homo sapiens like Neanderthal.


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:22 pm 17
In response to DrDick @ 12

Here is the piece I read. You won’t see it in US media.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:23 pm 18
In response to DrDick @ 16

Erk! That was intended as a response to Margaret at 9.


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:24 pm 19

It;s also important to note that I wasn’t attempting to evaluate or make any claims as to it’s PHYSICAL effects. As an amphetamine, of course it can be harmful physically if taken to excess but as it’s not in the least addictive, (in my anecdotal experience), that’s a pretty mild concern imo.


marksb | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:24 pm 20

The Coliseum GM kinda’ got caught with his hands in the cookie jar on the raves.

Patrick Lynch’s 17-year tenure running the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena abruptly ended Tuesday when he resigned following disclosures that he allowed a top assistant to double as a consultant to the producer of a trouble-plagued rave at the venue, The Times has learned.

It’s not an actual payoff, but the raves brought some serious cash income to the Coliseum, so it is, sorta.


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:25 pm 21
In response to DrDick @ 16

That’s totally out of my ken. I wasn’t trying to make a point, just thought you’d be interested.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:27 pm 22
In response to Margaret @ 17

Again, I would want to see the original article before making any judgments. I doubt that it is as bad as the Feds earlier made it out to be, but as an amphetamine it has huge adverse potentials. I think issues like frequency of use and dosage levels are likely to be more significant than the length of time that someone has used the drug. Our bodies have amazing power to recuperate from pharmacological assaults with time (of which I am living testimony).


KrisAinCA | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:29 pm 23
In response to Margaret @ 19

Most street X is a cocktail of heroin, acid and methamphetamine. The pharmaceutical grade may be non-addictive, but the street stuff that’s most commonly found in urban areas certainly is.


KrisAinCA | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:29 pm 24

And evenin’ Pups!


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:31 pm 25
In response to Margaret @ 21

I am, but often those press releases grossly inflate the significance of the research. It is a kind of academic gamesmanship to which paleoanthropologists and paleolithic archaeologists are especially prone to. The Leakeys are the classic example of this.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:32 pm 26
In response to DrDick @ 18

Actually, I thought you might have been talking about the DEA…


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:33 pm 27
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 13

By “you” i mean “one.” I just am leery of it because it could be ANYTHING in those pills.

I do think a flier on an illegal drug should include AND IT’S ILLEGAL! somewhere. And I hope those fliers weren’t printed before the were shown to the the board of supervisors and voted down–what a waste of paper that would be!

Side note: I have a friend who works for County Public Health. His job: checking sex clubs to make sure they are up to code–and that they have condoms and safe sex fliers He says it’s fun but at times a little icky because of how bars smell when people aren;t in them


papau | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:34 pm 28
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 1

Very True – indeed private prisons are the new growth industry – and they need to be filled.

Meanwhile the story here is Obama said something – and then did or got behind the opposite.

Just curious – after Pelosi pushing through the first 90 days of legislation, does anyone recall Obama saying something – and then actually getting behind it – the public option con-job has not been the only “head-fake” – indeed they have ALL been head-fakes as far as my memory goes.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:35 pm 29
In response to DrDick @ 25

*sigh* Ain’t that the truth. A Leakey would dig wax out of her ear and try to sell it as the one and only root of the human lineage…


Margaret | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:35 pm 30
In response to DrDick @ 22

I think issues like frequency of use and dosage levels are likely to be more significant than the length of time that someone has used the drug.

Of course. But again I wasn’t attempting to make any claim other than what the article stated: A new study has determined that it’s not as bad for one mentally as previous studies have indicated. As a person who has done a whole lot of human subject research, I can’t evaluate it’s value without knowing method, sample size and so forth. All I was doing was repeating what the piece I read said. Apparently I’m doing a really crappy job of being clear tonight. I didn’t make any claims about the piece about early humans because it’s out of my ken and I’ve now tried to make clear that I can’t evaluate the value of the ecstasy study from one Guardian paragraph, nor did I mean to indicate that I could.
Now I’m going to bed in order to avoid more confusion.
Good night all.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:36 pm 31
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 26

Nah, those are definitely middle Homo, probably erectus or possibly early heidelbergensis.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:37 pm 32
In response to KrisAinCA @ 23

Ugh! nasty. thanks for the info. I figured it was acid or PCP and meth, but the smack explains even more


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:37 pm 33
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 27

Noting a significant risk of arrest and imprisonment seems a reasonable warning to me.


Suzanne | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:38 pm 34
In response to Margaret @ 30

g’nite margaret


KrisAinCA | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:38 pm 35
In response to DrDick @ 31

Oh Doc, tell me more :D


KrisAinCA | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:39 pm 36

@Lisa – the heroin accounts for the body high and euphoria. The meth keeps you from falling asleep and the acid makes you see and feel things. It’s a seriously dangerous cocktail. Easy to overdose as well because the meth keeps you awake long enough to keep using.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:39 pm 37
In response to Margaret @ 30

Night. Take care.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:40 pm 38

Night, Margaret.

It’s been a long day, so I’m going to wander off as well. Be excellent to each other.


DrDick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:41 pm 39
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 38

Night.


Suzanne | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:41 pm 40
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 38

g’nite edp


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:45 pm 41

Night Margaret!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:45 pm 42

Night Evil! and Dr Dick too!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:49 pm 43

Obama seems to uh…change his mind a lot!


Prairie Sunshine | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:51 pm 44

Thought for tonight, apologies for going off-topic, but inquiring minds want to know…whose hand is on America’s Internet kill switch. Besides Lieberman?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:56 pm 45
In response to Prairie Sunshine @ 44

We donn;t really have a topic per se during my late nights..anything is fair game.

Rumor has it–form my tech geek friends– that the Internet kill switch won;t work too well here inUS–our infra structure is kinda wonky and they couldn;t kill all the computers


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 08:58 pm 46
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 45

But who knows,maybe they are optimists tech geeks


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:11 pm 47

There are peopel ho use weird servers and all so sorts of stuff. It’s not like Tunisia where govt shared servers with busineses and when the givt sites were knocked of, so were the businesses


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:23 pm 48

Whoa…we mention the internet cut off switch and *poof!*


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:24 pm 49

States are broke its funny that rather than tax drugs the states want to cut public employe jobs, benefits etc.


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:27 pm 50

President Obama thinks drugs are not a health issue but a legal matter given the rate African Americans go to jail on drug charges you would think he would be more sympathetic.


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:28 pm 51

If you want to stop drugs create jobs when the steel mills were hiring even highschool dropouts and paying them enough to drive Caddy’s did America really have a drug problem?


newtonusr | Tuesday February 15, 2011 09:31 pm 52

Who is this guy in the Big Chairâ„¢, and what the Hell could he possibly be thinking?


veganrevolution | Wednesday February 16, 2011 03:32 am 53

If that’s the case–why didn’t Barry do some time for all his sundry drug use? Oh that’s right–the elite don’t go to jail.

Man, the Boomers can be hypocrites.


mzchief | Saturday February 19, 2011 12:36 am 54
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 1

We also have a full-on corporate wealth extraction/legacy business racket protection economy, too. I think DarkCycle is onto something with this interesting comment to EmptyWheel’s post, “Confirmed: Our Government Has Criminalized Beauty Products” (Feb. 17, 2011).


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