Tag Archives | perscription drugs

Painkiller Overdose ‘Epidemic’ Hits United States

pillsBig Pharma is rendering the street-corner drug pushers of our childhoods obsolete. AFP reports:

The United States is facing an epidemic of lethal overdoses from prescription painkillers, which have tripled in the past decade and now account for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

The quantity of painkillers on the market is so high that it would be enough for every American to swallow a standard dose of Vicodin every four hours for one full month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The unfortunate and in fact shocking news is that we are in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug overdose in this country. It is an epidemic but it can be stopped,” said CDC chief Thomas Frieden. “Now the burden of dangerous drugs is being created more by a few irresponsible doctors than by drug pushers on street corners.”

The CDC Vital Signs report focused on opioid pain relievers, including oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone, better known as Vicodin, which have quadrupled in sales to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices since 1999.

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House Introduces Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Industry

Photo: Plazak (CC)

Photo: Plazak (CC)

The House is doing what it can to protect the medical marijuana dispensaries with a bill that has been proposed to allow the marijuana industry to act as any other legal buisness, including expense deduction on federal tax returns and would make both businesses and patients “immune to federal prosecution if they are acting in compliance with local marijuana laws.” Via AlterNet:

Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA), Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation to the House on Wednesday aimed at ensuring the medical marijuana industry is treated like any other business.

The legislation was supported by Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Ron Paul (TX).

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, introduced by Stark, authorizes medical marijuana dispensaries to take the full range of business expense deductions on their federal tax returns, like other legal businesses are allowed to.

“Our tax code undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking all the deductions allowed for other small businesses,” Stark stated.

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