HOORAY for Surgeon General Elders!!!!

Fri Dec 10 16:25:48 EST 1993

In article <2eas0i$i4q at nic.umass.edu>
verdant at twain.ucs.umass.edu (Sol Lightman) writes:
>Even were cocaine and heroin legal, they would not be used as widely
>as the more addictive drugs, alcohol and tobacco (barring a cultural
>fad.)  Even if they were used as widely, you are talking more like
>05M deaths or less.  In fact, since 80% of heroin ``overdose deaths''
>and emergency room admissions are due to impurities and inconsistant potency,
>legalizing drugs would save you tax dollars in the health care area.
>Plus, you wouldn't be handing 13+billion/year to the thugs^H^H^H^H^H
>boys in blue.
>Deaths per user:
>        Alcohol = 100,000/140,000,000 = .07 %    or 70 per 100,000
>        Cocaine =   1,000/ 12,200,000 = .008 %   or  8 per 100,000
>Deaths per abuser:
>        Alcohol = 100,000/18,000,000  = .56 %    or 56 per 1000
>        Cocaine =   1,000/   250,000  = .40 %    or 40 per 1000
>from    Thinking About Drug Legalization
>        by James Ostrowski
>        Cato Institute Paper # 121, May 25, 1989  $2.00
>        to order or for information, write
>        Policy Analysis
>        Cato Institute
>        224 Second St. SE
>        Washington DC 20003
>Estimated Per Capita Death Rates by Drugs
>Drug    Users           Deaths per Year         Deaths per 100,000
>Tobacco 60 million      390,000 (a)             650
>alcohol 100 million     150,000 (b)             150
>Heroin  500,000         400 (c)                 80 (400)
>Cocaine 5 million       200 (c)                 4 (20)
>(a) "Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking:
>25 Years of Progress" Surgeon General's Report (1989).
>(b) Estimates vary greatly, depending upon whether all health
>consequences, or only those traditionally associated with
>alcoholism, are considered.  The Fifth Special Report to the
>U.S. Congress on Alcoholism and Health from the Secretary of
>Health and Human Services contains two references indicating
>a death toll of 200,000:  The report states, first, that alcohol
>"plays a role in 10% of all deaths in the United States,"
>which comes to about 200,000 deaths each year.  P. vi.  It further
>states that present estimates of the death toll from alcohol
>abuse are as high as 93.2 per 100,000.  Ibid., p. x.  This
>ratio translates into a total of about 210,000.
>(c) These figures were determined as follows:  Drug Abuse Warning
>Network (DAWN) heroin and cocaine fatalities for 1984, 1985,
>and 1986 were averaged.  The number of suicides was subtracted.
>The figures were discounted to account for deaths in which
>both heroin and cocaine played a role.  Since DAWN covers
>about one-third of the nation's population but almost all
>major urban areas where drug use florishes, totals were doubled
>to arrive at yearly estimates of 2,000 for heroin deaths and
>1,000 for cocaine deaths.  Finally, these figures were dis-
>counted by 80 percent in accordance with the analysis presented
>in the text
You're data is impressive indeed, however, they reflect the current state
of drug use in America.  I submit that there is no reliable way to forecast
the usage and consequences of legalized cocaine.  Yeah, sure the amount of
deaths are much lower now because the population is generally not as likely to
submit to illicit drug addiction as to legal drug addiction.  You're comparing
the figurative "apples to oranges" here.
It's like saying, "I can show that driving 150+ mph causes fewer deaths per
year than driving 55 mph.  Of course it does because only a very few number ofof
I am not saying that you will *never* convince me, you just haven't to date.

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