T Nation

Thoughts on Limbaughs addiction

Well, I’ll give you one example - medical marijuana.

Though the citizens of Oregon (and several other states) have voted to allow marijuana to be legal for medicinal purposes, pundits like Rush have still called for a prosecution on those who choose to use it (even under legal circumstances!)

The federal government has intervened, and attempted to roll back state’s rights to prescribe medical marijuana. Yet, it is still legally prescribed in our state.

So, in a state where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes (Oregon), should a person caught with Marijuana NOT prescribed by a doctor be held to the same standard as Rush, who was caught with pain-killers NOT prescribed by a doctor? Or should they be prosecuted differently, simply because the substance in question was not a traditionally upper-middle class white abused drug? (okay, that was loaded but I’m not a lawyer quite yet)

Well now, that’s a whole nother matter entirely. Time for some legal nit-picking – what fun! Now you’re dealing with federalism and a pissing match between the federal and state governments over regulatory authority.

That takes me back to the good ol’ days of Constitutional Law… Under the current understanding of the Congressional Commerce Clause Authority, the feds likely have the right to regulate in this area (I’ll save a discussion to whether I think this is correct for another time – suffice it to say this is the current understanding, and how a court would almost certainly rule based on Supreme Court precedent). As Congress has authority, the Supremacy Clause holds that Congressional law in the area supercedes state law – states can only regulate in an area where Congress has authority absent actual Congressional law, or, if there is Congressional law, the state law may not be inconsistent. As allowing marijuana where federal law prohibits it is facially inconsistent with federal law, this is problematic for the state. Under dominant federal law, marijuana is still illegal. If it were to go to court, the state law would be declared void, but I’m not certain the federal government wishes to pick that fight at the moment. They’ll probably just stick to prosecuting providers of the marijuana every once and awhile just to prove who’s in charge.

This is a very long way of saying the “medical marijuana” is an argument between the feds and the states over whether to categorize marijuana as an “illegal” drug. It doesn’t tell us anything about whether the feds would treat a “legal” drug differently than an “illegal” drug.

Interesting stuff though. BTW, as I said way back in my original post, I would be for legalizing marijuana. Never tried it, but I’m pretty close to libertarian on most things.

I want to clarify a little: the federal law controls, so marijuana is illegal irrespective.

Now, you may be thinking, why don’t the feds challenge it in court and get it declared void. The answer: They’re wienies. IMHO, they don’t want to risk the political fallout of coming out hard against cancer patients getting marijuana. So, instead, they’ll just continue to enforce federal law. Wienie: yes. Hypocrite: no.

For those who like to use insults as part of their “intellegent” conversation, at least be truthful about the insults. Rush is not now, nor has he been in a long time, a fat person. If you are wrong about that fact, what else might you be wrong about. oops, doubt has now been introduced as to your “truth” credibility.
As for the discussion at hand, I am curious to see how it all pans out. Rush was wrong. I wonder if he will modify his opinions based on his experience.

Hypocrisy and justice are in the eye of the beholder once you enter politics. A very plastic term. Why debate over it if nobody agrees on base definitions?

“Some people would be offended by your view” - Yes, the following people would be offended: drug addicts, people who care about those addicted. Why do people get addicted to things in the first place? It is because drugs feel good, damn good, and people want to feel like that more often so they take drugs on a regular basis. An addict is this: someone whos craving for drugs is superior to his or her craving for a substance free self. For example, a heroin addict may very well know that he is spending all his money on heroin and losing friends and killing himself slowly, however, this impetus of information is insufficient for him to stop. It’s a problem of willpower. shit, untill the day people come up with drugs like Ketracell White (any star trek fans?) addiction in my humble opinion does not exist. well, besides addiction to food and water, very funny.

Rush has indeed been a “fat man” and continues to - his weight got as high as 330 pounds, and is now between 250-270.

Boston - let’s put aside the federal vs. state argument for a second and simply argue on terms of substance. I ask two questions:

  1. Is it not true that marijuana, like Oxy-Cotin, is legal in some states as prescribed by a doctor.

  2. Is it not true that drug warriors are willing to send ANY user of marijuana up to jail but are more leniant on abusers of pain-killers?

I don’t like it when people nitpick the english language. “addict” means something completely different than what it means to say, boston. Therefore, a statement like “My friend died because he was addicted to drugs.” means to one person, “Heroin killed my friend.” whereas to me it means “My friend was not a strong enough person to resist the temptation of heroin, he killed himself via heroin OD.” Thank god no assholes chimed in on this thread and I appreciate the candor and respect everyone here shows towards other people’s beliefs.

Actually Rumbach, I used the phrase “legal nitpicking” slightly in jest: Marijuana cannot be legally prescribed anywhere, because it is against federal law. Because the state laws saying it is legal do not control, it is illegal irrespective of state laws saying it is legal for doctors to prescribe.

As I said, in reality, the feds aren’t going to prosecute doctors, and aren’t going to prosecute cancer patients getting small amounts – but they will still go after suppliers.

I’m guessing you already know this, but the true point of my example about marijuana is pointing to a substance that has slightly more “visibility” as a war on drugs kind of drug, but that also has medicinal value. All I’m saying is that I see no distinction between a drug that fucks you up and a drug that fucks you up. The distinctions are classist and artificial.

Rumbach, your points regarding medicinal marijuana are right on.

Now then, why is Tommy Chong in prison for selling a bong? Not drugs, a bong.

And Rush, the guy championing the “3 strikes your out” and “lock 'em all up” garbage is not, despite his illegal actions?

Okay folks, let’s get serious. The reason Rush is not in jail is two-fold. 1. Prosecutors generally go after pushers, not users.
2. He is a high profile person that is a cash cow to many folks. Those pitiful AM radio stations would not get listened to if it were not for Rush.
What is the bottom line? MONEY
If it were anybody else of his stature and position, they would probably not get locked up. Rank has it’s priviledge.

Rush is not a fat bastard, he is a rich bastard.

MR: I’m libertarian.

BostonBarrier: Responding to your first post. The moral difference between legal and illegal drugs is not legitimate. It is arbitrary. Just because a phamacuetical co. pads the pockets of politicians in order to make their drugs legal does not magically put them in the realm of morality.

I will agree with you that the drug warriors generally focus on “illegal” drugs however, they also spit vitriol at people who break the law in order to obtain legal ones. I used to be a dittohead and clearly remember Limbaugh chastizing people for the same thing he’s accused of.

On a side note. I believe I heard Jessie Ventura say that the Supreme Court voted to legalize medical marijuana. Has anyone else heard of this? It would definitely be a step in the right direction.

Oxycontin may be used by some people under a doctor’s care, but Rush was buying his drugs on the street. The fact that Oxycontin “can” be used legally is irrelevant because Rush was not using it legally.

This is also Rush’s third time in rehab. He has known this is a serious problem for a long time. The only reason he’s in rehab this time is in response to the story in the National Enquirer. If he hadn’t been “outed” he’d still be getting high in private. A hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another. I think that tag fits here.

Rush reportedly bought thousands of tabs over a few months, which is enought to last him for 16 years if he had been using it as prescribed. From what I know, it is pretty powerful stuff. So he is way beyond the level of “pain relief” he is getting fucked up.

A lot of celebrities get hooked on this stuff, like Robert Downey Jr., and Mathhew Perry (“Friends”). Elvis did a lot of drugs, although his did come from a doctor, and not a dealer.

The thing that bugs me is there are a whole lot of people doing serious jail right now, just for possessing weed. But because Rush is a celebrity who happens to be a mouthpiece for people’s political agendas, they will bend over backwards.

Just replace Rush in this equation with someone like Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the same people making excuses for Rush would be ripping the Reverend to shreds, with glee.

Rumbach:

Almost all of the “recreational” drugs can have medicinal value. See our discussion above about the similarities in effect and chemistry between heroin and Oxy-contin. It isn’t about medicinal value – it’s about the classification of the substances into “legal” versus “illegal” as I laid them out above.

Remember, we aren’t arguing about the utility of the categories. As I pointed out before, if you want to argue against the categorization I will likely agree with you in most instances. The point is whether the “drug warriors” have been consistent within their own classification system. Marijuana = illegal, so it doesn’t serve as a good example for you in this respect.

Now, another digression – I’ve been ignoring this because it was beside the point. However, I will disagree with you on the whole “classist” aspect. I think they focus based on two factors: a) widespread use; and b) association with other crimes. Oxy-contin has garnered more attention recently because of the latter, but previously to the string of robberies I don’t think the feds focused on it. This is a drug nicknamed “Hillbilly heroin” for a reason – it has been widely abused by lower-class and working-class whites in Appalachia, where it first became popular. Similarly, many more middle to lower class people than you would think abuse prescription drugs – although probably not as many up in Oregon, where marijuana is more available, and, I’ve heard, higher quality. But prescription-drug abuse is a large problem for lower and middle classes in the midwest.

Kuri:

It doesn’t seem like you’ve read what I’ve already posted, so I will simply refer you to the above posts where I have laid out the arguments on hypocrisy of the drug warriors, pointed out that this thread is about them and not about Rush, and also pointed out that Rush was a hypocrite on the subject.

I’ll also say that your analogy to “three strikes” is a complete non-sequiter. That law is about punishing recidivism for felonies.

Finally, there are laws against selling “drug paraphenalia” associated with “illegal” drugs – and de facto these apply only to smoking devices (syringes have too many medical applications). But notice how this also fits within the classification – they have made illegal paraphenalia for using “illegal” drugs, but not “legal” drugs.

Zeppelin: I don’t know what Ventura said, but I know the 9th Circuit was hearing arguments about some prosecutions of providers of marijuana in California who were purporting to rely on local medical marijuana laws – at least I think they were relying on those laws. I haven’t followed it too closely. Perhaps Ventura was speculating that case could go up to the Supreme Court eventually.

Wishin: You have brought up an interesting point that I have sort of skirted around. The feds generally use prosecutorial discretion to go after the distributors of illegal drugs, at least with the harsh penalties. They will turn the screws on users in order to attempt to get to the suppliers, but in every case I can remember reading or hearing about, simple users do not get harsh penalties (FYI, I am using “users” and “distributors” here within their meanings under the drug laws, which generally define those terms by the amount of drugs found in a suspect’s possession).

Slight digression of a legal point: I’ve focused on the feds here because they are easier to focus on as a single entity, and because they are the big boys. However, as state courts are courts of general jurisdiction, local prosecutors can bring actions under drug laws in local courts. I’m certain these can be more capricious and more problematic, and that some small users are prosecuted there. This is definitely a problem with the drug laws, and with the whole system (as I said to start out this discussion, I’m generally against the illegality of all but some of the most dangerous drugs). But it does not implicate the question at hand, which is whether the “drug warriors” – Ashcroft et al at the federal level – are hypocrites.

Rush himself weighs in : Limbaugh Says Drug Addiction A Remnant Of
Clinton Administration
WEST PALM BEACH, FL?Frankly discussing his addiction to painkillers, conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience Monday that his abuse of OxyContin was a “remnant of the anything-goes ideology of the Clinton Administration.” “Friends, all I can say is ‘I told you so,’” said Limbaugh, from an undisclosed drug-treatment facility. “Were it not for Bill Clinton’s loose policies on drug offenders and his rampant immorality, I would not have found myself in this predicament.” Limbaugh added that he’s staying at a rehab center created by the tax-and-spend liberals.

:slight_smile: this was too good not to post

Except, Kuri, the article is a hoax.

That’s a bit of comedy from The Onion.