Malcolm Gladwell In the nonfiction book, “David and Goliath,” he guides us to think beyond David’s courage. While of course he was at work, he had something else to work for: veterans have poor eyesight; They can be almost blind.
“Justice is blind.” This expression is meant to convey that fair justice is rendered in a fair and impartial manner. This is a value that we hold dearly in the United States. But it should not be taken literally, the kind of blindness that is characteristic of Goliath. Blind justice is real, fair and useful, which makes his eyes twinkle. What does this tell us about being successful in ending the opioid epidemic?
The bigger the government, the more blind it is likely to be. Government moves from towns to cities, counties, states (and districts and territories), and then to the federal level. As the dimensions of government increase, it may have more trouble seeing the light, or it is powerfully refracted and distorted by political and ideological powers.
As citizens, we have seen many recent, overlapping incidents and claims, which should give us more foreshadowing of the blind veterans now living in Washington, protecting lives, families and communities from the consequences of opioid (and others) There is a lot going on) drug dependence.
Cartoon on President Donald Trump
The most widespread, blind swing in the opioid epidemic came from the president himself. On March 1, 2018, Trump announced at the White House on opioids that “some countries have very, very tough penalties – the ultimate penalty. … and, anyway, we have very little drug problems.” “Final penalty. “There is definitely a death penalty. according to this The economist, 32 countries have capital punishment for drugs (including smuggling) in their laws, but only six employ it: Malaysia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Singapore. In these countries criminals are executed. Are these countries the model for “law and order” that we want for our country? And who will be trapped in this capital crisis, should it ever happen? They are mainly people with addictions who are selling to support their habits, mainly people of color and people living in poverty. But now this drugnet will reach white, middle-Americans – as our family, friends, and neighbors, the opioid epidemic has gripped the Midwest, South, and Northeast states. This is not just or fair justice, as is already evident from the demographics of the inmates of our prisons, where, we have the largest (and most expensive) correctional system in the world.
Our Chief Justice Officer is Attorney General Jeff Sessions for engaging in a blind and heavy scuffle. Punitive and myopic views of this Goliath’s drug addiction and ways to reduce its cracks are as vast as his judicial wealth. Sessions had ordered his attorneys to pursue general prosecution, federal violations related to the limits of the law and its convictions, drug use and distribution (including street level and non-violent offenses). He wants to “build a wall” (even though deadly drugs like Fentanyl are coming from China and Russia), and is in the headlines with drug busts.
At the President’s insistence, the Sessions also want to go after drug manufacturers and distributors. The precedent for this is present in the lawsuits won against Big Tobacco. States and cities are also following this strategy, building their cases on deceptive marketing and promoting accustomed substances (financial and social), particularly OxyCopt. This approach, legal without executing anyone, can actually be successful. But if the current administration resumes settlements instead of smaller governments, what can we expect?
The possibility is that he will use the litigation awards to further his enforcement abilities, a practice he has already demonstrated. More agents, more raids, more federal inclinations. Attorney General Commented On February 27, it is said that “If we break our laws then whatever laws and equipment we have to use people will be accountable.” When you have a hammer, everything is a nail, so it wants to deal with problems to people using the substance. Do not use resources to prevent the development of this medical condition or to provide effective treatment to these people.
A clear view of history shows us that attempts to smuggle ourselves out of the current opioid (and other drug) epidemic or fight with smugglers would be as fruitless as prohibition was. Remember the legacy of that misguided, police-enforced “temperament” movement? This gave rise to organized crime of a scale never before in this country.
Who are the other White House Goliaths?
Trump has proposed to Richard Baume to fill the long-vacant post of director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The nation’s “Drug Caesar” has been given White House status by the Director of ONDCP. The last director, Michael Botically, was recovering from a substance-use disorder himself and was dealt with to reduce drug demand by focusing on it as a disease. But Bom is a law school professor and criminal policy expert who was chosen by the president, we should imagine, to embrace control strategies for drug use, on the other side of the demand / control coin.
Then we have the newly appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services. (Other) Attorney and former CEO of Vishal Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, Alex azar Does not bring experience and perspective with addiction as a chronic, relapsing disorder for the condition. In his decade at Lille, Azar tripled the price of insulin, not a drug of abuse and life-saving for so many people with diabetes. During her tenure, Lily was fined for collusion in Mexico for keeping the price of insulin high. Where is the human vision in this new administration Goliath?
Finally, don’t ignore Kellyanne Conway, a presidential pardonist, named months ago by Trump to lead a national campaign to reduce the use of opioids and its fatal consequences. Has he done anything towards that end? Don’t think so – because she knows nothing about public health, and is busy on the airwaves trying to protect the president from her tweets and other unsympathetic utterances. He is also, less visible, a large, blind giant.
I was once told that the horizon for change from city-based initiatives is one year, for state-based initiatives two to three years, and federal for five to 10 years. We have reason to be optimistic as (some) states, cities and counties face the opioid crisis using the government’s ‘Davids’, public health text. Think about how public-health methods have defeated the epidemics of cholera, polio and smallpox, reduced tobacco use and popularized seatbelt to reduce car deaths. Despite the Washington Goliaths, municipalities and states could gain some land in the next year or two.
But the current federal Goliath in the White House and other executive offices are not mobilizing the nation’s public health capabilities. Instead, they seek ways to visually use their vast legal and police power that will do far more harm than good, while more than 170 people (as we know) die from drug overdoses.