Monday, September 14, 2015

219.2 - To Laugh, Not Weep: FDA approves Oxycontin for children as young as 11

To Laugh, Not Weep: FDA approves Oxycontin for children as young as 11

This is an occasional feature, nicknamed "To Laugh, Not Weep," where we look to embrace the absurdity of something just to avoid the ugliness of it.

The evidence is indisputable. Marijuana, or more precisely cannabis, is a beneficial plant with a range of demonstrated and potential medical applications, including treatment of severe pain. While it, like any other chemical substance, can have some undesired effects, there is no evidence to date that anyone has ever died from it.

The evidence is also indisputable. OxyContin and other opioid-based prescription drugs have a small range of uses from pain management to cough relief. There are many harmful side effects. They are highly addictive, kill thousands of people a year, and sicken tens of thousands more. Opioids have a place in medicine as they are used to treat severe pain. But they are incredibly dangerous.

In the US, 23 states and Washington, DC have legalized marijuana for medical use. However, in all but five of those states, it is nearly impossible to obtain. In the other 27 states, you can't legally get it at all.

On the other hand, narcs won’t kick down your door, shoot your dog, and throw you in prison if you have doctor-prescribed OxyContin, which is legal in all 50 states.

Here's one outcome: Tens of thousands of children suffer from epilepsy in this country. Of those tens of thousands, only a very small handful have access to medical marijuana, which has shown some benefits in reducing seizures. But if you want your child to start a regime of opioid drugs, you can: Last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved the use of OxyContin for children as young as 11.

Its use is to be highly regulated, but it still means that the federal government is allowing children as young as 11 to be given a highly-addictive, dangerous drug while denying them even the opportunity to find out if the non-addictive, far, far safer, alternative of medical marijuana would help them.

It is to laugh - so we don't weep.

[Special hanks to the linked article at AlterNet, from which this is largely taken.]

Sources cited in links:

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