Most people understand that heroin and Oxycontin are both hard, addictive drugs. Not so with speed. When it comes to amphetamine, we’ve chosen a national split-screen in which doctors airily put millions of healthy children and adults on daily speed regimens while SWAT teams throw concussion bombs in baby cribs in pursuit of small-fry meth dealers.
I generally stay away from the medical marijuana debate because almost 80 years of Drug War propaganda has turned the “debate” into a chaotic mess of ignorance, racism, and police state inertia that has little to do with the facts, and this article is a great example of how ridiculous the “War on (Some) Drugs” has become.
Hemp has been banned for decades because the DEA declared that it is the same thing as the demon weed marijuana and therefore a Schedule I Drug (which are considered “the most dangerous of all drugs”).
So, what drugs does the DEA consider to be safer than marijuana? Cocaine, meth, and oxycodone, to name a few.
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:
cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
This policy was upheld without a second thought when the Obama White House answered a petition to allow farmers to once again grow hemp by declaring that since it was the same thing as marijuana it should remain illegal “to protect public health and safety.”
While there is little debate outside the DEA whether marijuana or crystal meth is more dangerous to society at large, the truly amazing thing is how the federal government, mainstream media, and Wall Street have given a big thumbs-up to drugs like crystal meth and heroin as long as they are marketed under a patented tradename by the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies (who not-coincidentally give lots of money to politicians and the media while raking in the profits for Wall Street).
Much like the disparity in news reports and police interest based on the imaginary difference between cocaine and crack, OxyContin and Adderall are simply the patented time-released versions of heroin and crystal meth, and sales are through the roof!
Across all demographics, national spending on speed has nearly doubled since 2008. It is now a $10 billion market accounting for more than four-fifths of the world’s pharmaceutical speed. America’s speed consumption is projected to rise another quarter by the end of 2015. The Express Scripts report concludes with a rhetorical question: “Are we over-diagnosing and overmedicating the adult population?”
“Medicating” isn’t the word they’re looking for, but the query is a good start.
In Orlando, ADDA [the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, a front group for Johnson and Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Concerta] will officially celebrate 25 years in existence. The group will unofficially celebrate much more. After decades in suspended animation, the adult speed market is finally back on its feet, feeling pepped, and ready to go. A long-term strategy of cultivating professional societies, primary care doctors, the media, and political allies has paid off. From the beginning, the secret weapon of this strategy has been women like Quinn: pseudo-scientific quiz givers who talk like Oprah, who claim to suffer from ADHD and “get” you, and who have a little something that just might help you shed those pounds, manage house, and keep the blues at bay.
While the DEA’s Drug War targeted poor people for possession of pot, they have ignored a true epidemic of Neo-American speed freaks that will do far more damage to our country, but acknowledging the glaring hypocrisy at the heart of their “War on Drugs to protect public health and safety” would bring down their whole house of cards.
If you ask me, its time to burn that house of lies to the ground and put our tax money into something that actually helps the American people, instead of continuing to destroy countless lives to protect corporate profits and the DEA’s budget.