Mitt Romney

The Benefits of AIDS and Hepatitis

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Last week Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed a bill that would have allowed the sale of needles and syringes without a prescription, a measure aimed at discouraging needle sharing by heroin users, thereby reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. Unlike government-funded needle exchange programs, to which many taxpayers understandably object because they don't want to subsidize other people's drug habits, this simple reform merely eliminates a legal obstacle to sanitary injection practices. Yet Romney and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healy (who is running to replace him) said they feared the change would encourage heroin use. Even if they were right (the research suggests otherwise), their prohibitionist logic is rather appalling: Allowing easier access to injection equipment makes heroin use safer, and that's a bad thing, because the specter of AIDS and hepatitis deters people who might otherwise become addicts.

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  1. The specter of overdose or shortened life-long addiction don’t faze these people, but Hepatitis does. Instant death from a hot shot doesn’t scare these people, but dying of AIDS does. This is what faith-based politics gets you.

  2. I just thought I’d let you all know:

    The July/August “Technology Review,” the science magazine from MIT, got delivered today.

    It’s a special issue titled “It’s Not Too Late.”

    The subheading is “The energy technologies that might forestall global warming already exist.”

    And here’s the blurb inside the cover: “Hear the dire warnings of a leading climate scientist; visit an oil drillship in deep waters south of New Orleans; read a plea for a practical nuclear game plan; learn about bugs that make ethanol cheaply; find out why coal is a dirty secret. Through diverse subjects, a simple theme: to save the world, what we need most is a strategy to use the technologies we already have.”

    Put that in the invaluable Robert Samuelson’s pipe and smoke it.

  3. In college, I would use my roommates diabetic syringes to fill oranges up with vodka in order to sneak alcohol into the football games. That’s reason enough they should be legal.

  4. By that turtured logic, the state of Massachussetts would also be justified in distributing AIDS- & Hep-infected syringes to the drug-using population.

  5. No one’s really surprised by this, are they? This kind of “if they don’t want bad things to happen to them, they shouldn’t do bad things” logic has been driving conservatives for decades.

  6. It is the right message that’s the important thing. If no one gets a terminal disease from drug use, then no one can add that to the list of ways that drugs ruined their lives. The whole rehab system could short circuit.

  7. WTF, needles and syringes aren’t legal without a prescription? Stupid. You can do non-drug things with them, you know.

    joe – does Technology Review post those articles online? I like reading things that make me optimistic.

  8. “Everyone has the right to go to **** in their own way.” – said by too many people to name them all.

    [Apologies for the **** bowdlerization. My outgoing is monitored for the word that should have gone there.}

  9. Yes, yes this all sends “the wrong message” to all of us and will make us think it’s OK to use heroine.

    If you want syringes you can buy them at fiberglass supply shops or paint supply stores in various sizes. Just thought I’d pass on a little tip.

  10. Downward,
    Do you realize that by using his needles to adulterate citrus fruit you could have given your roommate lemon-aids?

  11. Hey it’s another “Heroin is good for us!” post. Praise the heroic rebellious junkies!

  12. Sometimes God doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain by striking down the wicked.

    In his absence, we have to pick up the slack.

    He’ll appreciate what we’ve done when he shows up again.

  13. In related news 27 Massachusetts physicians were arrested for writing excessive numbers of prescriptions for needles and syringes.

    “We have to get these dealers off the streets,” Romney said. “It’s for the children.”

  14. does Technology Review post those articles online?
    http://www.technologyreview.com/

  15. Hey it’s another “Heroin is good for us!” post. Praise the heroic rebellious junkies!

    Government studies have shown that misquoting your opponent is a great way to reach “the kids.”

    You D.A.R.E. instructors have such awesome reading comprehension!

  16. I sometimes wonder if Michelle Malkin’s hate doesn’t cause AIDS and Hepatitis. You dudes should look into it.

  17. Hey it’s another “Heroin is good for us!” post. Praise the heroic rebellious junkies!

    I guess that’s us.

    In all fairness, though, he/she has a point. It’s much more couragous to push personal tastes upon others, criminalize tastes we don’t share, and then institute a racist War on Drugs. Damn. Privacy rights may make this War difficult. We better scrap those. I know, we’ll just let cops bust down doors without knocking!

    Supporting a policy that clearly leads to AIDS? Now THAT is courage. Thank you, virtuous one. In a world of sinners, I’m glad we have you to tell everyone else how evil they are–AND TO SUPPORT A POLICY THAT LEADS TO AIDS!

  18. No one’s really surprised by this, are they? This kind of “if they don’t want bad things to happen to them, they shouldn’t do bad things” logic has been driving conservatives for decades.

    I’m trying to post this without seeming like A) a smartass, and B) a conservative apologist, mostly because I’m only the former, but not in this case.

    Isn’t that the same logic that drives libertarians? Whether it’s mandatory seatbelt/helmet laws, drug legalization, prostitution, or any other number of items, aren’t we arguing that people are able to bear the consequences for the actions they take? Granted, I think the point you are trying to make is that conservatives would rather guarantee horrible consequences to dissuade people from making unsavory decisions, unless I’m wrong.

  19. “…their prohibitionist logic is rather appalling: Allowing easier access to injection equipment makes heroin use safer, and that’s a bad thing, because the specter of AIDS and hepatitis deters people who might otherwise become addicts.”

    Jacob’s argument assumes that Romney thinks that over-the-counter sales would encourage heroin use by giving heroin users a defense against disease. If the governor actually wants to use infectious disease as a club, that is appalling.

    But I think it’s more likely that Romney thinks that over-the-counter sales will simply make the process of acquiring and using heroin more convenient, more available.

    Or, the most likely scenario, Governor Goodhair hasn’t actually given this amount of thought to the merits of the debate, and is only doing this because, he’s told, Republicans in Iowa hate needle programs.

  20. Isn’t one of the arguments against gun control, that thieves and burglars are deterred by the possibility of getting shot by an armed victim? Is such logic likewise appalling because lawbreakers are made to fear for their safety?

    And yes, I know that heroin users and armed robbers are two totally different types of lawbreakers, in that one is a victimless crime, but that’s a separate argument. If you think heroin use should be legal, argue that point, don’t start a proxy battle on this subject.

  21. The NIDA says drugs do not cause addiction. They say it is genetics and “environmental factors”. I prefer the word trauma.

    Here is a doctor’s view of the problem:

    Heroin

    Sad that so many are so ignorant. Especially among the anti-prohibitionists.

  22. Isn’t one of the arguments against gun control, that thieves and burglars are deterred by the possibility of getting shot by an armed victim? Is such logic likewise appalling because lawbreakers are made to fear for their safety?

    This policy is appalling in the same way that the U.S. policy of handing Native Americans blankets infected with smallpox is now pretty much universally seen as appalling. Biological warfare against the public is not only unjust (in that it guarantees the collateral infection/death of those innocent of the prohibited behavior), it’s yet another insane reaction to a victimless crime in the first place. But hey, this is a War we’re fighting, right?

  23. Isn’t that the same logic that drives libertarians? Whether it’s mandatory seatbelt/helmet laws, drug legalization, prostitution, or any other number of items, aren’t we arguing that people are able to bear the consequences for the actions they take?

    Libertarians argue that individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether to risk the consequences of an act, balanced with their own perception of the advantages of the act. I.e. riding without a helmet feels more free and you have more perepheral vision, but if you fall off head injuries are likely to be more severe.

    Conservatives (and what passes for Liberals today) argue that individuals shouldn’t have to make those choices and therefore the state should add artificial consequences (citations for riding without a helmet) to force individuals to make the “correct” choice.

    I see a lot of difference. Particuarly in cases like where government blocks research into the use of marijuana for medical purposes because that “might send the wrong message in the WoD.” Or in this case, where the government is saying, “If you use drugs we want you to get easily preventable diseases.”

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