Nanny State

If Traffic Deaths Were Rising, Would the Los Angeles Times Be Less Alarmed?

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The Los Angeles Times reports that "drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States," the first time that has happened since the CDC began tracking drug-related deaths in 1979. The Times says drugs killed 37,485 people in 2009, compared to 36,284 who died in traffic accidents. One reason drugs are winning is that "traffic fatalities have dropped by more than a third since the early 1970s," even as the number of miles driven has more than doubled. (The number of deaths per 100 million miles driven fell dramatically between 1970 and 2009, from more than five to about one.) By contrast, drug deaths have been rising during the last decade, mainly due to prescription drug overdoses or fatal combinations.

Over all, these dual trends represent a decided improvement, since many people die in car crashes through no fault of their own, as passengers, pedestrians, or nonculpable drivers. By contrast, drug-related fatalities typically involve reckless behavior by the decedent, who either takes too much or carelessly combines depressants. The examples cited by the Times include "a 19-year-old Army recruit" who "took a handful of Xanax and painkillers while partying with friends" and "a San Diego woman found dead with a Fentanyl patch on her body, one of five she'd applied in the 24 hours before her death." As tragedies go, these are regrettable, but they pale beside an old lady run down at an intersection or a toddler killed by a drunk driver.

That is not the way the Times sees it, of course. "Public health experts," it says, "have used the comparison [between the two fatality trends] to draw attention to the nation's growing prescription drug problem, which they characterize as an epidemic." Is there any problem that "public health experts" don't "characterize as an epidemic"? In this case, as in many others, the label disguises the reality of people deliberately putting themselves in harm's way. After all, there is no communicable microbe that compels people to wash down Vicodin with booze or swallow a handful of assorted pills randomly retrieved from a bowl at a party.

But the problem, according to the Times and pretty much every other mainstream news outlet, is that doctors trust their patients too much: During the last decade or so, they have gone from being inappropriately stingy with painkillers and other psychoative prescription drugs to being excessively generous, thereby feeding "a thriving black market" that caters to addicts and thrill seekers. "Prescription drugs are traded on Internet chat rooms that buzz with offers of 'vikes,' 'percs' and 'oxys' for $10 to $80 a pill," the Times reports with alarm. Such breathless descriptions are rather misleading: According to the government's drug use surveys, most people who use prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes get them "from a friend or relative for free." In any case, because pain cannot be objectively verified, there is no systematic way of preventing unauthorized use without also preventing legitimate patients from getting the treatment they need. There is an unavoidable tradeoff here between relieving the suffering of innocents and saving people from their own stupidity, and the morally correct choice should be obvious.

NEXT: RAND Study: Closing Pot Dispensaries Leads to Increase in Crime

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  1. It IS obvious to the MSM – better a thousand innocent people suffer excruciating pain than one teenager get high.

  2. Every time I see a story like this, I assume the definition of “[cause]-related” death is so broad as to be completely meaningless.

    1. Indeed. A “speed related” traffic fatality is essentially a tautology.

      1. it’s not the speed. it’s the speed differential.

        1. It’s not the fall. It’s the sudden stop at the end.

          1. exactly.

            but this is why rural undivided highways are IMMENSELY more dangerous than freeways.

            even though the speeds on the latter are higher

            btw, in regards to the original post, what is meant by “speed related” is of course “excessive speed” related

            1. Uhm, in terms of the collision this is not true. Two cars colliding at 40 mph head on is the same as one car hitting a tree at 40 mph. In both cases the cars goes from 40 to 0 virtually instantly. This was even “proven” on an episode of Myhtbusters.

  3. Well since what’s being done isn’t working we should double down on it because we’re really smart like that.

    1. Amen, brother!

  4. There is an unavoidable tradeoff here between relieving the suffering of innocents and saving people from their own stupidity, and the morally correct choice should be obvious.

    IF ONLY. When control is the goal, suffering is guaranteed.

  5. I must have terrible freinds and family cuase they never give me free vikes percs or oxys.I really need to upgrade

    1. It seems like availability varies wildly region to region, which seems odd to me if it’s really the feds that docs are scared of. Or maybe I’m wrong and I just need to upgrade my friends too.

    2. Have you tried barter?

  6. Is there no level to which the media will not sink? They are fucking advocating that people be prescribed less for drugs that:

    1) relieve pain, including chronic pain
    2) reduce/relieve anxiety, panic attacks, and stress

    Because, as we all know, it is important that people have more of those things in their daily lives.

    The media is in a direct, unofficial partnership with the government in terms of fucking people over, increasing suffering, and increasing control over everything people do.

    They are abject scum. The question I have, though, is why? I get why politicians do it: they gain more power and control. But the media doesn’t; so why?

    1. A very good question. But putting the blame on just the MSM is misplaced. This whole fucking country is fucked up.

      1. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the MSM is an instigator and a panic-monger. Fuck them, their totally uninformed moronic reporters, their statism, and their sycophantic attitude towards the government.

        1. I used to think that it was the media that stood up to “the man.” I grew up during watergate and in my youth, I had this perception that the media was one of the checks and balances. But the older I get, I’m thinking that exposure of Watergate was just an anecdote of history. Watergate was just a “gotchya” moment for some liberal members of the press.

          Radley Balkos are the exception, not the rule.

          1. there’s a bit of irony here, but that aside… yes balko is a welcome example of a reporter who is (god forbid i use this term) fighting the power.

            the media sells a product. just like any “evul corporashun” selling more of their product is important. sensationalism sells.

            but the idea that they only act as sycophants for the man is of course absurd- witness the “racial profiling ” hysteria, for example.

            if they can, they will sensationalize ANYTHING, whether or not it goes with or against “the man”

            recall the audi 5000 brouhaha, where the evul incompetent audi corp made cars that accelerated ON THEIR OWN

            of course, after extensive, expensive investigation, the cause was revealed “pedal misapplication”

            shocking

          2. Yeah, well, they’re the ones reporting on whether the media stands up to “the man”; so of course they’re going to spin themselves that way.

            And I’ve always felt the same way as you about Watergate, or else why wasn’t JFK outed for his sexual escapades, or Johnson for his wiretapping of Martin Luther King, etc.

            1. ah yes. RF Kennedy Jr, the stalwart liberal civil rights advocate! (rolls eyes)

              fwiw, as i understand it, there was a gentleman’s agreement back in the day regarding politicians and their sexual dalliances.

              imo, that’s a good thing. imo, it has exactly zero to do with JFK’s (in)ability to do his job, and it should have been between him, the chix, and maybe his wife.

              that old skool press attitude eventually dissolved and now the press loves to report on who is schtupping who, which i think frankly is a disservice, a distraction, and as much as i am for OPEN GOVT, not really the public’s concern imnsho

    2. Sensationalism sells.

  7. If people would just stop putting hats on beds….

  8. I’d like to know the answer to this in regards to these statistics:

    If a person takes too many valiums or Oxys and then kills himself in a car accident, is this considered a driving fatality or a drug overdose?

    1. It’s “smoking-related”. Promise.

      1. No, Promise is trans fat related.

    2. Terrorism.

    3. it’s not considered a drug overdose, unless there is proof that the person died/or at least went unconcious before impact (thus the impact didn’t kill them, it was just a result of the drugs and they were already dead/dying)

      if you take too many drugs and it causes you to crash, that is referred to as a DUI, which can be either alcohol or drug related (that’s the binary system in my state’s laws. i realize alcohol IS a drug)

      in both latter cases, it would be counted as a substance abuse related death.

      1. So, if I got stoned on some good weed, and pulled a David Carradine, would that be considered a drug related death?

        1. drug use wouldn’t be considered the CAUSE of the death, but yes… it would be considered drug related, just like if you got drunk and did it, it would be considered alcohol related

          1. BTW, my question was just a hypothetical. There is no way I’d risk wasting some good weed by committing Hari Kari.

            1. there’s a fine line between autoerotic asphyxiation and unintentional suicide.

              1. I think I will stick (pun intended) to my internet porn. It is a lot safer…. unless you are doing it at a Chucky Cheese.

                1. lol. my question is just a “hypothetical”. reminds me of the old comedy routine “dr, i have this friend who…” 🙂

  9. Plus, how many of the stupid, accidental OD deaths would be prevented if the drugs weren’t so shrouded in mystery? I realize it’s as simple as going on the internet and not being a retard, but if people could talk more openly about the recreational drugs they use to their MDs and each other, maybe they’d get a little smarter about their use.

    1. it really DOES amaze me how little research drug users do on this shit. with the internet, thereis so much out there.

      for example, i was talking to a former oxy addict (she had successfully completed rehab- at least for now) who told me that in rehab they wouldn’t even let her take benadryl. i tried ot explain to her that benadryl was a opioid potentiator. she had no idea.

      this was a person who routinely did 300+ mg of oxycontin a DAY when she was using, and didn’t even know that.

      i’ve also seen a few cases of kids seriously injuring themselves from taking tons of DXM drugs. they were too stupid not to buy the ones WITHOUT APAP, which are readily available. the APAP will literally kill you (the only successful intentionaldrug overdoses i’ve dealt with have been APAP), the DXM will not.

      1. I’ve always said, “If you’re going to do something stupid, be smart about it”, and apply that to my own recreational drug use. I’ve about learned enough to get some chem 101 credits.

        OT: have you had any experience with 1% MCs? Or BACA for that matter? I’m curious how they’re perceived in the non-BATFE community, esp. BACA, which keeps the “image” but isn’t outlaw, though they are a bit on the vigilante side.

        1. we get a fair # of bikers in my area. never had a problem with a biker. ever. not once. by that, i mean classic bikers, not the idiots on the rice rockets driving like fucking morons.

          i know the 1%’ers do some crimes, but as far as how they interact wiht law enforcement, or at least me – always been respectful and cooperative.

          1. Plus, bikers aren’t opposed to doing this.

            1. Jesus.

              I know it’s wrong, but… can’t… stop… laughing!

  10. Well, unless they conclude all that with a statement that says it’s imperative we do everything possible, including opening our houses to SWAT teams and our dogs to their bullets, unless we accept needless suffering by flu and cold because it’s difficult to get medication that relieves them, unless we accept violence as the alternative, and don’t forget run on sentences because the negative results of policies stemming from how they feel are innumerable, they just haven’t considered the problem.

    1. another thing that’s fucked up is the # of legitimate pain sufferers that have difficulty getting sufficient pain meds from their docs, since their docs have to worry about oversight from the DEA and./or just don’t like drug seekers, and assume the people might be lying.

      there is no medical test that can prove somebody is or isn’t in pain. drug seekers know it, as do dr’s

  11. “(The number of deaths per 100 million miles driven fell dramatically between 1970 and 2009, from more than five to about one.)” – and imo this has been a great success and AMAZINGLY (considering the general incompetence of govt.) a great example of strides that can be made when govt. and private industry (and private groups like MADD) cooperate.

    vehicles ARE much safer, DUI is investigated (and punished) much more aggressively (look at the old dean martin road films- DUI was looked at as a no big deal joke far more in the past than it is now), cops and prosecutors are trained much better in how to investigate/prosecute, jurors are more sympathetic to the cause, etc.

    as a libertarian, i could not care less if somebody wants to use drugs. they hurt (or sometimes help) themselves. their choice

    when it comes to vehicle safety, reckless driving, etc. etc. i think differently.

    the War on Drugs has been a miserable failure, and has hurt far more than it has helped imnsho.

    the war on DUI, otoh, has been a great success. we can do more of course.

    1. My only quibble is that BAC doesn’t measure impairment. I got drunk with some cops and and prosecutors a few times, and for fun they’d do the Horizonatal Gaze Nystagmus test. After watching the test of various degrees of fucked upness, that test seemed to be a good indicator of impairment. People that weren’t impaired didn’t to the little bobble thingy the eye does. People that were major fucked up, their eyes shproinged like a looney toons commercial.

      1. BAC does NOT measure impairment. it measures BAC. BAC can be correlated with impairment, but there is wide variety. a practiced drunk can be quite UNimpaired at a BAC of .08. others can be almost stumbling drunk

        it’s irrelevant

        the law, at least in my state, has a two prong either-or test.

        it is illegal to drive impaired by liquor OR at a BAC of .08 or above.

        even if you could prove you were unimpaired (difficult of course) at that BAC, it’s still a crime

        last i checked, there is no civil right to drive with that amount of alcohol in your system

        impairment of course occurs on a scale. any measurable amount will impair you to SOME extent, but the generally accepted legal definition of impaired is more than ANY impairment whatsoever.

        regardless, i LIKE that the law set a bright line. it establishes an objective law. that’s a GOOD thing, and i applaud it.

        DUI is also about the only crime that the innocent have a foolproof way to prove their innocence.

        heck, if you disagree with the BAC test, you have the right (in my state) to be transported to a medical facility and have a doctor of your choice draw a sample to be tested as well.

        any other crime, witnesses can lie/be mistaken, coincidences can make you look guilty, you can be wrongly identified, bla bla

        in DUI, if you are not above the limit, you have a nearly 100% foolproof way to prove it.

        1. What about HGN? In your experience, is that a good indicator of impairment? Can a professional drunk with a BAC greater than say, .15, fake an HGN test?

          1. imo and ime no. to clarify, HGN says nothing about IMPAIRMENT. it references alcohol concentration in the blood, not impairment.

            it’s completely involuntary, and unlike many other physical indicators (stumbling, etc.) tolerance has zero effect on it.

            when i used to do a LOT of dui’s, i could tell within .02 what a person’s BAC would be SOLELY based on HGN.

            you’re not supposed to be able to, according to the “experts”, but i could, and i talked to many DRE’s and experienced DUI cars who said the same thing.

            a small %age of people have “natural nystagmus”. if they do, they know they do – if they’ve EVER had a physical, since the doctor always checks your eyes, and it would be very obvious.

            WA state defense attorneys HATE nystagmus, and it’s been much harder to get into evidence in this state (and only provisionally accepted many years later than most other states) -i’ve been voir dired every time for 15 minutes to about 1 hr just on my credentials and experience in order to be able to testify to it.

            but it’s BY FAR the most accurate test

            4 cues of nystagmus are PC to arrest.

            6 cues indicates you are pretty fucked up – BAC wise.

            the highest BAC i ever saw was .464. i didn’t even get to do nystagmus on him, of course.

            1. Good grief, how do you live through a .464 BAC?

              1. in his case, loudly, obnoxiously … and driving a stolen car.

                1. It always amazes me how stupidity is so often clustered like that. Like the stories of guys hauling 2000 pounds of weed down the highway at 25 over the limit.

                  1. a very substantial %age of criminals, and ESPECIALLY the ones we catch don’t have that connection in their mind between action and consequences.

                    a normal person would think ” i have 2 stolen guns, and some cocaine in my car. i won’t speed”

                    the kind of asshole we arrest carries that stuff, and then a car pulls up next to him, guns his engine, and his impuls(ive) drive takes over – next thing you know he’s racing at 70 mph in a 35 zone. the rest… is history.

                    fwiw, the original racial profiling myth (in the media) started over a federal LEO report that traffickers using the new jersey corridor fit a certain profile – driving UNDER the speed limit, rental cars from southern states, etc.

                    but in general, we catch the ones with impulse control problems and the unwillingness to correlate actions with consequences.

              2. STEVE SMITH has two livers.

            2. BAC does NOT measure impairment.

              Yup. I once posted here that it takes me 5-6 beers to catch a buzz (I’m ~150 lbs., btw). The charts I’ve seen would have me at .12-.16 after 6-8 beers in two hours.

              I seldom drive after that – maybe 1-2 times a year, but I’ve never been pulled over.

        2. last i checked, there is no civil right to drive with that amount of alcohol in your system
          —–

          No, but there is a right to a fair trial

    2. a great example of strides that can be made when govt. and private industry (and private groups like MADD) cooperate.

      Did you just credit MADD with technological saftey advances made by the auto industry? Are you retarded?

      the war on DUI, otoh, has been a great success. we can do more of course.

      You’re absolutely right. Lets lower it to .04 and set up road blocks on every corner. Think of the sheer number of people you can fuck with on a daily basis for eating starches. Not to mention the overtime.

      1. no, i didn’t credit madd with that. (nader otoh lol).

        my point was that the change was multifactorial – safer cars, stricter DUI laws, better DUI enforcement, and especially a change in public ATTITUDE about the acceptability of DUI.

        i was not saying MADD had anything to do with traffic safety.

        your other moronic comments aside about roadblocks – they are unconstitutional in my state. and it’s a silly strawman.

        i lauded one thing and you bring up another. fwiw, some nations do criminalize a .04/less. in sweden iirc it’s a .02. they love to drink there, too. they just don’t drive afterwards if they know waht’s good for them. frankly, there is no right to drive at a .04 either. i think .08 is more REASONable though.

        1. ugh. traffic safety should be vehicle safety

        2. Not trying to glorify the nanny/welfare state (though sweden has been reforming lately), but most swedes in large cities don’t need to drive cars in general.

          1. “most swedes in large cities don’t need to drive cars in general.”

            Yeah, when you live in a country with, oh, 300 miles of paved road there’s not a lot of reason to drive cars.
            Hey, even Tesla products will do fine there!

        3. your other moronic comments aside about roadblocks – they are unconstitutional in my state. and it’s a silly strawman.

          You said we can do more. I provided examples of doing more (and both things MADD would love). So what else would be “do more”? Lower the BAC and make using breathwash and eating starches and sugar illegal before driving? You know, last I checked, there is no civil right to eat a sandwich before driving.

        4. “i think .08 is more REASONable though.”

          We should all be thankful when we have a dictator who is kind to us.

          1. Ironic how MADD is his appeal to authority, isn’t it? When doctors were asked (who would be a hell of a lot better for an appeal to authority) they put it at .12

            1. your distractions from the issues continue

              btw, there was no appeal to authority.

              i never said .08 was a reasonable (drink!) limit because MADD said it was.

              frankly, i have no idea what limit MADD proposed.

              i merely said MADD had done great work in the area of getting DUI enforcement to be taken more seriously by cops, prosecutors, and the public.

              pretty much every response you make to my posts is based on either unintentional lack of basic reading comprehension or an outright lie as to what i stated.

              iow, i’m not sure if you are just dense as fuck, or an outright liar

              or both

              but i NEVER claimed that MADD was any authoritah vis a vis .08 being the limit.

              btw, it’s a lot less than that for under 21’s or commercial vehicle operators

              hth

              1. frankly, i have no idea what limit MADD proposed.

                Then you’re an idiot or you’re 12. I’m under 30 and I remember when it happened. If it wasn’t for the collusion of MADD (for prohibitionist reasons) and Law Enforcement (for revenue reasons), the legal limit would still be .1 or .12. You since you think it’s reasonable, you agree with MADD over the physicians who were tasked with the original determination.

                pretty much every response you make to my posts is based on either unintentional lack of basic reading comprehension or an outright lie as to what i stated.

                My bad if I ascribe logic to your ramblings. You make statements like “we can do more” and they’re just meaningless plattitudes. I’ll try to remember not to credit you with substance in the future.

              2. i merely said MADD had done great work in the area of getting DUI enforcement to be taken more seriously by cops, prosecutors, and the public.

                No, you gave them partial credit for lowering traffic fatalities. Which is total bullshit. The vast majority of DUI arrests are at a much lower BAC than the vast majority of traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers. All MADD did was give cops a revenue tool. Credit them with that if you want, but the lowering of fatalaties goes almost solely to safety improvements made buy auto manufacturers.

                MADDs’s contribution to lowering fatalities is almost certainly within the margin of statistical error. But they did give cops a great way to go fishing through your car for no damn reason, so it makes sense that you give them such props.

                1. Also, forgot to mention (though your dishonest ass knows it anyway), that the majority of traffic deaths have nothing to do with alcohol.

          2. right. because setting a prima facie limit of .08 in order to drive a motor vehicle is “dictatorial”.

            do you have any idea how absurd and funhouse mirror libertariany you sound?

            it’s just complete idiocy.

            help! help! i’m being supressed!!! i can’t drive my car at .08!!! the injustice~!~~

            1. ugh. oppressed , not suppressed.

              1. Supressed is funnier.

  12. Jesus, Reason, nothing about the Palestinian statehood vote, and America’s coming veto?

  13. now, THAT is ironic, alanis

    bwahahahahhahahahaha!

    what a fucking tool!
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..58532.html
    Assange fails in bid to suppress own memoirs

    By Jerome Taylor

    Thursday, 22 September 2011
    AP

    Julian Assange was reluctant to write his autobiography

    The autobiography of Julian Assange is published today despite attempts by the WikiLeaks founder to suppress it after a bitter row with its publisher.

    In the manuscript, excerpts of which appear exclusively in today’s Independent, Mr Assange addresses for the first time the events that forced him into a costly extradition battle over allegations that he sexually abused two women during a stay in Stockholm last summer.

    It appears despite his decision this year to withdraw his co-operation. After protracted efforts to secure either his consent to publication or the return of an advance worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, his publisher, Canongate, has decided to go ahead. The book offers a deeply personal insight into a man who, in less than a year, went from being an obscure former hacker to one of the world’s most recognisable faces thanks to his organisation’s explosive revelations. A whole chapter is devoted to explaining his side of the Swedish story.

    “I have kept my own counsel about the matter until now,” he writes. “It will be difficult to keep anger out of this account, owing to the sheer level of malice and opportunism that has driven the case against me.”

    According to the book Mr Assange had been warned that the US government wanted to set him up. He admits to sleeping with two women but says their allegations that some of the encounters were not consensual are either part of a conspiracy or motivated by his failure to return their calls.

    Elsewhere the memoir paints a vivid portrait of a driven but mercurial idealist bent on moulding the world in his own belief of absolute transparency.

    It begins with his peripatetic childhood in Australia with his bohemian parents, and describes how he plunged into the underworld of early hacking and later formed WikiLeaks as a whistle-blowing platform. The book also contains bitter rants against his media partners, particularly The New York Times and The Guardian.

    But it is his account of his time in Sweden that will draw most attention. “The international situation had me in its grip, and although I had spent time with these women, I wasn’t paying enough attention to them, or ringing them back,” he states. “One of my mistakes was to expect them to understand this.”

    1. Now that is funny.

    2. So his excuse is “Swedish bitches be crazy”

      1. “Swedish bitch set me up!”

      2. Well, they didn’t seem to think there was a problem until they found out about each other. Just sayin.

  14. “I don’t go joypopping with a bunch of bubblegummers. My friends can handle their highs.”

    We instantly recognize the drug dealer’s ethos: If my shit kills you it’s because you’re stupid. Lance is comic because the flimsiness of his rationalizations is so apparent.

    When it comes to prescription pain killers, in fact there isn’t much of a trade-off between killing pain and “saving people from their own stupidity.” That’s a false dilemma, and it’s morally perverse. It’s far more evident that drugs cause stupidity than stupidity causes drug abuse. Saying that the dead drug victim owns the stupidity of the whole affair is morally equivalent to pissing on his grave. It shows that you hate him. As etiology it’s pretty moronic, and even if a user’s stupidity were a proximate cause of a drug fatality (I’d love to see a legal precedent for that), it wouldn’t exonerate the suppliers of the drugs. If you have to dismiss tens of thousands of victims each year as stupid in order to keep up the illusion that drugs in themselves are harmless, that’s a clear indication of turpitude and stupidity. There’s no drug that will cure you of that, but you might want to talk to your doctor anyway.

    By what moral reasoning is a drug death less tragic than a traffic death? In Sophoclean terms, the drug death is infinitely more likely to be tragic. In terms of sorrow and misery, it’s nefarious to try to make the comparison at all.

    1. As etiology it’s pretty moronic, and even if a user’s stupidity were a proximate cause of a drug fatality (I’d love to see a legal precedent for that), it wouldn’t exonerate the suppliers of the drugs.

      No, what’s moronic is that, by your logic we should be locking up car dealers. Also people who make rope, bridges and anything else you can kill yourself with.

      I’m curious, does anyone have any personal responsibility in your little world? Or is it always someone else’s fault?

      1. even if a user’s stupidity were a proximate cause of a drug fatality (I’d love to see a legal precedent for that)

        You might try googling “assumption of risk” and “contributory negligence.”

        1. Thank you. There’s an important difference between stupidity and negligence, but that’s interesting and to the point.

          IANAL but it seems that “contributory negligence” has been abandoned in most jurisdictions in favor of “comparative negligence.” In its extreme form, the doctrine of “contributory negligence” would be terribly unjust. I would tend to lean the other way. That is, if you’re 99% responsible for the cause of a death, you’re on the hook for 99% of the damages.

      2. Is it your position that drug manufacturers should be imprisoned? I didn’t make that argument.

        Is it your position that cars and roadways should be completely unregulated? My opinion is that government should regulate car safety and drug safety.

        As for your example of ropes, perhaps it is useful. I think hillbilly heroin, for example, is dangerous to every user in way that rope is not. One doesn’t need to be suicidal to hurt oneself by using hillybilly heroin. Accidental deaths involving rope I imagine are rather rare. I am not arguing that all things are equally dangerous. Are you?

  15. “Think of it as evolution in action.”
    — Larry Niven

  16. I did not know the comparative numbers were so close between drug and automobile incidents. It does reinforce the idea that since illicit drugs and traffic laws are both crimes of policy they should be treated the same. A minority of people abuse drugs in this country so most are illegal so I suggest that since it is also true that a minority of people violate traffic laws we should make automobiles illegal as well. I think people would understand what is really going on if it were explained like this!

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