Drug Policy

The DEA's Regard for Safety

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DEA Administrator Karen Tandy had this to say upon announcing the recent arrests of mom-and-pop steroid manufacturers in the U.S.:

Today, we reveal the truth behind the underground steroid market: dangerous drugs cooked all too often in filthy conditions with no regard to safety, giving Americans who purchase them the ultimate raw deal.

Nearly a century after the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act, the DEA reveals that the quality of black market drugs is unreliable. Since it's the government that creates and maintains the black market by preventing people who want steroids from obtaining them legally, who is it again who gives no regard to safety?

The New York Times story about the steroid busts, which were part of a two-year, multi-agency, international investigation that fingered Chinese manufacturers for supplying the chemicals needed to make the steroids, included this strange interjection:

The drug case comes at a time when the quality of imports to the United States from China has become an issue between the two countries. Tens of thousands of toys made in China have been recalled in recent weeks on suspicion of having unacceptably high level of lead in paint and other hazards for small children. Some Chinese-made toothpaste was found to contain a chemical usually used in automotive antifreeze and not intended for human consumption.

Never mind that Mattel says many of the toys were recalled because of design flaws, not shoddy manufacturing. The Times offers no reason to believe there was anything wrong with the imported chemicals used to make the illegal steroids. Is it obligatory now to mention the toy recalls anytime a story deals with something made in China? As you'll see if you check out the labels on 10 randomly selected objects in your home or office, that rule will cover a lot of ground.

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  1. Prohibition works, really. You just have to try hard enough. And kill some innocent people, too–that’s pretty critical.

  2. Stanford University had to recall a number of admissions to their undergraduate program for the fall, after finding that many of them were made in China.

  3. Is it obligatory now to mention the toy recalls anytime a story deals with something made in China?

    Apparently.

  4. outsourcing jobs to china when it should be american dea agents shooting our citizens like dogs.

    shameful.

  5. I got a dependency case out of this sting. In Arizona, a dependent child is one for whom there is no parent willing or able to parent the child. The FBI and Bullhead City PD raided this house and found a 4 yar old girl naked. According to the State’s petition, the house had all kinds of liquid steroids and syringes according to the State’s Petition.

  6. Is it obligatory now to mention the toy recalls anytime a story deals with something made in China?

    Well yes, I believe it is. And the way I heard it, China paid Mattel for that “design flaws” statement. The price was undisclosed but the phrase “all the tea” was mentioned.

    This one however, scores:
    Since it’s the government that creates and maintains the black market by preventing people who want steroids from obtaining them legally, who is it again who gives no regard to safety?
    ZING!

  7. Since it’s the government that creates and maintains the black market by preventing people who want steroids from obtaining them legally, who is it again who gives no regard to safety?

    Every OD is a casualty in the War On Drugs. REMEMBER KATHRYN JOHNSTON!

  8. Doesn’t Arizona have some closed-down military bases that could be sold off to Consolidated Steroids or International Meth; and then used as factories?

    The meth and the steroids would be taxed like booze is and the factories would be inspected like distilleries, wineries, breweries & cigarette plants.

    Then, people in Bullhead City could go get jobs dealing blackjack in Laughlin so there will be more $5 tables open when I go there.


  9. The meth and the steroids would be taxed like booze is and the factories would be inspected like distilleries, wineries, breweries & cigarette plants.

    Why not tax and regulate them(if at all) like ADHD drugs and uhmm steroids. What is this “liberaltarian” fixation on adding confiscatory taxes and excessive regulation to certain classes of property.Tax ganja like it is turnip greens-local sales tax and self-employment taxes on the profits.

  10. Jacob Sullum is clearly owned by Little Steroid.

  11. If you give them a cycle, they’ll be Big Steroid.

  12. Stop endangering the safety of others, you two. Bad steroid jokes lead to deadly Steroid Rage. That’s why steroid jokes need to be illegal.

  13. So, if drug prohibition is such a bad idea, where are all the successful countries where all drugs are legal and unregulated?

  14. I love the way China says LOOK it was Mattels fault and totally overlooks the other issues that were not their fault.

    If the Chinese are so innocent of sending out crap product why did they execute their head of the FDA?

    While quality might be ever so slowly improving from Chinese products by and large they are crap when purchasing anything of real value or anything that has a need for high tolerances.

  15. Yeah Dan, we’re successful here because of prohibition. Let me write that one down.

  16. Dan T,

    The Netherlands, duh.

  17. Dan T,

    If drug prohibition is such a good idea, where are all the successful countries where it reduces violence and increases freedom?

  18. Yeah Dan, we’re successful here because of prohibition. Let me write that one down.

    Certainly not what I said.

  19. Dan T,

    The Netherlands, duh.

    Nope.

  20. So, if chattel slavery and empire-building are such bad ideas, shew me all the successful societies without them!

    If you don’t like it, you can move to Hibernia.

  21. Dan T,

    If drug prohibition is such a good idea, where are all the successful countries where it reduces violence and increases freedom?

    I didn’t say it was a good idea. I’m just asking why, if it’s such a bad idea, everybody is doing it?

  22. Man, Dan T, you just fucking love the status quo. And annoying people.

  23. I’m just asking why, if it’s such a bad idea, everybody is doing it?

    You’d have made a great member of a lynch mob. If stringin’ up darkies is bad, why are well all here?

  24. Er, “WE” all here. That is all.

  25. Ist es sicher?

  26. Still doesn’t answer the Q. if you’re saying, “People do dumb things.”, it still doesn’t explain why this particular dumb thing out of all conceivable dumb things.

  27. We have to tax Consolidated Peruvian Nose Candy and Amalgamated Ganja to fund at least a few cops to pull over people who are driving. Kind of like the way we pull over people who drive drunk.

    And we should pull over people who drive and talk on cell phones at the same time.

  28. So, if drug prohibition is such a bad idea, where are all the successful countries where all drugs are legal and unregulated?

    Every country in the world, prior to each one’s enactment of its first drug prohibition law. There was a time when you could legally buy/use cocaine and marijuana (and everything else) in the US, and as far as I can tell, the country was not saved from imminent collapse and ruin by outlawing them, nor has any other country ever been. Hence, by any reasonable definition, the US was a “successful” country even when “all drugs [were] legal and unregulated”.

  29. If burning witches is so bad, then why do so many of us old-time Europeans bother to. . . oh, to hell with it. Dan, you’re not even worth parodying anymore.

  30. Dan T. circa 1775

    So, if drug prohibition royalty is such a bad idea, where are all the successful countries where all drugs are legal and unregulated ruled by the people?

  31. And Dan, the obvious answer to your question is because the American Empire won’t let them.

  32. What’s especially puzzling is that Dan condemns the War on Drugs on his own blog, yet he seemingly defends it here.

  33. Where did you get that he defends it? He’s just asking why it’s universally practiced. And all he’s gotten so far have been facile answers that amount to saying that people do dumb things. It doesn’t explain why this particular dumb policy is universal.

  34. Robert, Dan T.: I’m not an expert in drug policy, but I imagine it’s a common policy because it’s an easy thing to say: “HEY, I’M BANNING DRUGS AND PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN”. Since drug users are almost universally repugnant, it doesn’t seem surprising that the laws to ban or limit them are also universal as well (Regular drug users are hardly a majority). There is a well-coordinated effort to ban or limit drugs because its effects are obvious. The sinister effects of the drug war are less obvious to the layman, or might be rationalized as being preventable with a reformed policy.

    That’s my guess anyway.

  35. And Dan T. derails another thread.

    Trolls 1,285
    HnR: 2

    Please don’t feed them. Attempted rational argument counts as feedstock.

  36. Hey CoveAxe, what do you mean “drug users are almost universally repugnant”? Perhaps you meant reviled?

    Also, what is Dan T’s blog? Maybe we can troll him there instead of vice versa.

  37. Also, what is Dan T’s blog? Maybe we can troll him there instead of vice versa.

    Here ya go.

  38. I haven’t updated the blog much lately but perhaps I would if I had some trolls to fight with. Everybody’s invited.

    Anyway, as Asharak notes, I’m not at all a fan of the WoD. The whole exercise strikes me mostly as a way to keep the poor population under control.

    But it’s odd to me that simply asking why, if legalizing all drugs is such a great idea, nobody is doing it. As much as you folks talk about ending drug prohibition, it sounds like nobody’s given this question much thought.

  39. Edit: “But it’s odd to me that simply asking why, (if legalizing all drugs is such a great idea) nobody is doing it comes across as a defense of the WoD or trolling…”

  40. It comes across as trolling because it’s exactly the same argument you use for everything.

    Paraphrases:

    “The people who live in this Utah town have decided they want lawns to be green, so who are you to question them?”

    “Clearly the people of Oregon value strict wildlife laws or they wouldn’t have them.”

    “If a free market is so great, how come more countries don’t have them?”

    Et cetera.

  41. And apologies to MysteryFish.

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