The War on Pain Management
The casualties of the drug war fill our prisons, but illicit drugs remain widely available. John Tierney, commenting on DEA's war on doctors, makes a persuasive argument that the failed drug war has motivated DEA and other law enforcement agents to define deviancy up by going after physicians, the licensed drug dealers.
As quarry for D.E.A. agents, doctors offered several advantages over crack dealers. They were not armed. They were listed in the phone book. They kept office hours and records of their transactions. And unlike the typical crack dealer living with his mother, they had valuable assets that could be seized and shared by the federal, state and local agencies fighting the drug war.
Tierney also makes a convincing case that "the OxyContin crisis" -- DEA's supposed reason for chasing doctors who write more prescriptions than DEA agents believe to be prudent-- isn't a crisis at all.
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