In my post Treatment vs Recreation I looked at how the pharmaceutical industry has come to the rescue of the middle class by making a whole host of drugs that substitute for the illegal variety. I'd like to take another look at the subject Tim Wu brought up in his Slate article. The Class War aspect. Let me quote from Tim:
...the current program of drug legalization in the United States is closely and explicitly tied to the strange economics of the U.S. health-care industry. The consequence is that how people get their dopamine or other brain chemicals is ever more explicitly, like the rest of medicine, tied to questions of class.So there you have it. The well off get "treatment" the poor get jail.
Antidepressants and anxiety treatments aren't cheap: A fancy drug like Wellbutrin can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,400 a year. These drugs also require access to a sympathetic doctor who will issue a prescription. That's why, generally speaking, the new legalization program is for better-off Americans. As the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports, rich people tend to abuse prescription drugs, while poorer Americans tend to self-medicate with old-fashioned illegal drugs or just get drunk.
I don't see how in good conscience we can keep doing what we are doing. In fact I pointed it out in a number of articles such as Dr. John Beresford Has Passed where I look at the Nazi connection to the Drug War and How To Put an End to Drug Users where I make that connection even more explicit with a review of Drug Warriors and Their Preyby R.L. Miller. I show exactly how conscience has been buried. We prefer to look the other way and make all kinds of excuses rather than looking at exactly what we are doing. If we faced it, we would have to see ourselves as kinder and gentler Nazis. We don't do mass murder. We do mass incarceration. Not exactly a step up we should be proud of. What exactly is the difference between a war on Jews and a war on the poor? Beats the hell out of me.
Cross Posted at Classical Values