Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marijuana: Safest 'Drug' On The Planet?


Prescription Drugs Kill 300 Percent More Americans Than Illegal Drugs

A report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death.

An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem.

In 2007, cocaine was responsible for 843 deaths, heroin for 121, methamphetamines for 25 and marijuana for zero (my em), for a total of 989 deaths. In contrast, 2,328 people were killed by opioid painkillers, including Vicodin and Oxycontin, and 743 were killed by drugs containing benzodiazepine, including the depressants Valium and Xanax.

Alcohol directly caused 466 deaths, but was found in the bodies of 4,179 cadavers in all.

While the number of dead bodies containing heroin jumped 14 percent from the prior year, to a total of 110, the number of deaths influenced by the painkiller oxycodone increased by 36 percent, to a total of 1,253.

Many experts attribute the trend to the increasing popularity among doctors of prescribing painkillers, combined with a leap in direct-to-consumer marketing by drug companies. For example, promotional spending on Oxycontin increased threefold between 1996 and 2001, to $30 million per year.

The article is all about prescription drugs that people can use recreationally or become addicted to. I actually wonder more about the drugs that are advertised on TV every day that are for other kinds of ailments and aren't used recreationally. The ads tell you how wonderful the dope is for one-third of the ad, then the other two-thirds describes the side effects, often including the word 'death'. Some of those side effects seem worse than the original ailment and would require medication themselves!

I think the government, and this or any Repug administration in particular, thinks it's OK to kill yourself with drugs if they are manufactured by and bought from their contributors. Grow 'em yourself or get 'em outside Big Pharma's profit chain, you're a criminal and deserve to go to jail.

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