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Medical Drug Control Act of 199X
Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.
The MDCA transfers control of all prescribed drugs to Health and Human Services from the Department of Justice.
While acknowledging the Herculean and often unappreciated effort, it is clear
the criminal justice system's moral models have failed. Current drug classification
is unscientific and irrational. Flawed collective perceptions of comparative
harmfulness spawn harmful laws and policies. The result: excessive expectations
on public institutions ill-equipped to deal with health problems. The criminal
justice systems' resources are overwhelmed. Taxpayers are realizing the costs
of these expectations have adverse impacts on other Government programs.
The worst and longest lasting adverse effect on America is the decline of utilitarian government into authoritarianism. The attack upon the individual with the usurpation of privacy by both public and private authority is of most concern. It attacks the vitals of democracy. Transition to medical/social approaches represent the only effective alternative to Prohibition.
* The moral models are binary. The drug is good or the drug is bad- based
upon its legal status. The medical model is based on costs vs benefits.
* The moral model of prohibition provides for a restricted response as compared with the medical models with their spectrum of options.
Prohibition has created a toxic swamp of criminality, feeding on the materialism of America.
Prohibition creates a dumbing down of America with prisons spent for instead of universities. Good-bye to global competitiveness; hello to more international crime.
The Surgeon General is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining
drug control policy and programs.
Department of Health and Human Services shall administer the National Drug Control Program. through the Public Health, Food and Drug Administration. Department of Justice will cooperate in the enforcement of the NDCP.
Funding by specific drug taxes earmarked for prevention and treatment
with morbidity-based rates- A "pick up after yourself" policy.
Each drug must be considered separately. Devotees and vendors of each drug generally rationalize it to be benign and less harmful or noxious than those of others. Connections between actual and perceived consequences require institutionalizing. Special interest groups fight to maintain their profitable niches based upon self-serving denial.
Each drug- including alcohol and nicotine- may have some adverse effects. It is both fair and prudent that costs from the use of the drug be paid for by the users, industry, and marketplace. Currently, the non-users are obliged to subsidize the users and their suppliers.
Excise and sales taxes from alcohol and nicotine products go, for the most part, into the general fund that motivates Government to encourage consumption.
Individual and group freedom requires informed responsibility and accountability
To be free one must have knowledge and understanding for what one is responsible
and accountable. Groups and institutions are subject to the same expectations.
The marketplace, industry, and users share this implicit social contract. No
more exemptions for alcohol and tobacco products from product liability law.
Drug advertising is drug "education". Industry, bereft of this unique
privileged protection, will exert restraint to minimize risk. As it is there
is minimal antidote to the manipulative imagery that preys upon human frailty
to sell drugs. The public will cease to be as disinformed about comparative
harm from drugs.
Utilitarian drug policy- a responsive spectrum of options.
The ideal of non-intervention must be balanced with the interests of others affected.
For the vast number of users of all drugs that utilize them effectively as personal tools without adverse effect no intervention is needed or justified except for morbidity-based taxation.
* Pharmacy based drug users cooperatives
Supported by transaction fees, the user is admitted to the cooperative by examination and screening. Drugs are dispensed upon showing appropriate identification.
* Addiction control specialists
Individuals at risk for abuse or history of misuse are referred to addiction specialists for supervision and individualized plans.
* Maintenance clinics
For those needing closer scrutiny and control, clinics with supportive services provide more intensive services.
The Criminal Justice System
Control must be exerted from within or it must be controlled from without.. Misbehavior from drug misuse requires intervention. Coercive and restrictive institutional response is justified and appropriate for misbehavior.
* Drug testing
* Civil commitment
* Jail and prisons
Control is a reasonable alternative to Prohibition.
User fees, sales, and taxes to support control and compensation for specific drug morbidity and casualty losses are reasonable alternatives to the usurpation of our inalienable rights through Prohibition.
Draft 1 9/27/94