No Cure for Meth-Mouth

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The Arkansas State Assembly is considering a bill to

limit the expenditure of state moneys for dental procedures for inmate methamphetamine users; to provide time for inmate methamphetamine users to confront the damage to their health that results from methamphetamine use

So, take that Jack Shafer and Jacob Sullum. Meth use must be destroying the heartland because Arkansas' General Assembly finds that

(1) The illegal use of the drug methamphetamine has become an epidemic in this state;

The Arkansas proposal does raise an interesting theoretical question: should Guantanamo detainees receive their promised dental care if their tooth malaise are the result of tweaking?

NEXT: The 'Meth Epidemic' in Perspective

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  1. meth meth meth meth meth meth meth.

  2. If an Arkansas Assemblyman goes to prison, is the state forbidden to purchase books on ethics?

  3. Everybody already knows that meth makes yer teeth fall out. They just don’t care so the lesson will be lost on the tweakers.

    Annie Kep On Speedin’ regards, TWC

  4. What a sick fuck, pardon the language.

    Isn’t this a violation of cruel and unusual punishment, as well as possible human rights treaties.

  5. Wouldn’t it be intersting if a law could be struck down if there was a showing of either a factual inaccuracy in the statement of purpose or a lack of any facts in this statment?

    It would at least make this self-satisied part of legislation shorter

  6. jesus christ, guys,

    I thought this was a libertarian site (personal responsibility, limited government expenditures, etc.).

    If you’re gonna sit around smoking meth all day, you shouldn’t expect the state to pay for your dental bills.

    Of course, the question whether people should go to jail just for using meth is another question (gray area, but i’m voting for “no”)

  7. If you’re gonna sit around smoking meth all day, you shouldn’t expect the state to pay for your dental bills.

    No, but if the state takes your freedom away and makes it impossible for you to get to a doctor or dentist when you choose, then the state should be expected to provide the care it won’t let you get for yourself.

  8. Actually, I don’t see how this is much different from the state saying, “If you’re arrested for being or soliciting a prostitute, you won’t get any medical care for treatment of STDs.”

  9. Jennifer,

    IMHO, smoking meth is a little bit different than smoking weed. There are undeniable dangers present in the production of meth, unlike weed, and smoking it is to be an accomplice to this crime.

    A reasonable compromise might be to give ppl caught with meth a warning- cut it out and you’re good to go. Keep it up and you go to prison AND lose your teeth.

    How bout public service announcements that say: “Tweakers, brush or you’ll be eating mush”?

  10. Actually, andy, the reason meth is so dangerous to produce is because it’s illegal–in the days of Prohibition, illicit booze production led to a lot of mishaps, but that doesn’t automatically mean that drinking alcohol naturally leads to subsidizing dangerous activity; it only does if the government makes it so.

    If someone uses meth and then commits a crime then he should ne arrested, same as anyone who commits the same crime while sober. Otherwise the government needs to stay out of it. But in any case, if the government takes away your freedom, so that it is impossible for you to get your own medical care, then if you need said care the government has to either let you go (so you can seek care on your own, if you choose), or else give you the care.

  11. As libertarian as I am, I have a hard time sympathizing with tweakers and even a harder time imagining LEGAL meth labs…

    I don’t know what the answer is, but society would be infinitely better off without meth.

    It’s arguments like yours, Jennifer, that make us the joke of the political landscape. I’m not saying we should forsake our principles, but there’s way more important battles than whether these scumbags should be allowed to fuck themselves (and their families) up on hard drugs. You’ve gotta draw the line somewhere, and the societal consequences of meth/crack/smack legalization would be too much.

  12. You’re right, Andy, there are more important principles than what happens to meth users. And one such principle is, should the state have (for all intents and purposes) the right to make it illegal for a certain class of people to get needed medical care? That is, in effect, what this bill would do.

  13. You know, I’ve never used meth and I’ve never known anybody who has, but my friends and I have used various other drugs that supposedly have the power to instantly turn even a Nobel laureate into a homeless, toothless, diseased street whore, and yet we’re all doing fine. Given how many damnable lies the government’s already told about every other intoxicant in existence, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to discover that even meth isn’t as scary as they say it is. Or rather, I’d be surprised to learn that when it comes to methamphetamine, the government decided, for the first time ever in the history of the war on drugs, to tell only the pure, unvarnished truth.

    If you went to Skid Row and looked at the winos, and these people were the only alcohol users you knew, you’d assume that alcohol forces people to neglect their personal hygiene and eat a vitamin-free diet and find it impossible to hold a job. Oh, and every single person who’s ever had a drink has cirrhosis, too. But that’s not true–the statistics are skewed because you’re looking exclusively at the bottom of the barrel. And so it is with most drugs, and so too it probably is with meth.

    Even if meth is as bad as they say, the government’s not going to make things any better by locking these messed-up people in cages and denying them the ability to get treatments to regain their health.

  14. As libertarian as I am, I have a hard time sympathizing with tweakers and even a harder time imagining LEGAL meth labs…

    I may not sympathize with tweakers, but that doesn’t mean that they should all be locked up.

    As far as legal meth labs, if the stuff were legal to produce, you’d most likely see companies like Altria and Phizer making it in well-lit, OSHA-certified production facilities.

  15. “should the state have (for all intents and purposes) the right to make it illegal for a certain class of people to get needed medical care”

    LOL Why the drama, Jennifer?

    “Needed medical care” wouldn’t be “illegal” to get, just that the state wouldn’t necessarily pay for it. YOU certainly would be free to start a fund to fix these bastards’ teeth.

    As for your “Why should I believe the government about meth when they lie about other things?” Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Meth breaks up families and empovrishes innocent children whose parents are too fucking selfish to think about anyone else but themselves. I’ve seen it myself. Maybe this law will give them something to think about.

  16. “I may not sympathize with tweakers, but that doesn’t mean that they should all be locked up.

    As far as legal meth labs, if the stuff were legal to produce, you’d most likely see companies like Altria and Phizer making it in well-lit, OSHA-certified production facilities.”

    You honestly think that these companies would ruin their reputation by making this vile poison? You’re nuts.

  17. Allow me to correct: You think they’d risk ruining their rep (which they almost certainly would)?

  18. Of course, Mediageek, I guess the amoral libertine-arian clan at this site would probably have no problem aiding and abetting the destruction of our society if it could make a buck, right?

  19. No drama at all, Andy. Though perhaps I should clarify for the benefit of the overly literal: the state will make it illegal for people to get care on their own, by denying them the ability to earn money to pay for their care. Your hair-splitting about how I could start a fund to pay for their care is like saying that if the state locks you in a hole, refuses to feed you and refuses to let you earn your own food, that’s all right so long as others are free to start a charitable fund to feed you. Granted, the lack of dental care won’t lead to guaranteed death the same way lack of food will, but it is still a very bad precedent for the state to make.

    Unless of course you also think that this will be the ONE instance where the government won’t indulge in mission-creep, and won’t use this as a precedent to deny other forms of medical care to other types of inmates.

  20. The real problem with dental care for meth addicts is that they’ll be getting nitrous oxide, and that can get you high. For the sake of their moral hygiene it’s better that they forgo dental hygiene. Really, we should be arresting dentists for giving people drugs for pain!

  21. The best meth is given to children with ADHD.It is the main ingredient in Ritalin/Adderall.If you like to do Meth you inherently suffer from ADHD.Get diagnosed and cured and get the pharmaceutical grade speed.It is a wonder drug after all.Should we deny the same people who take it medicinally health care.It is the tree of knowledge.The day you eat of this tree, you shall have your eyes open as god and die.Controlled substance!

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