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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Friday, June 20, 2003

A Civilized Society

An amphetamine is a stimulant drug, first marketed in the USA in 1930 as an over-the-counter inhaler called Benzedrine to treat congestion. Methamphetamine, marketed in 1940 by Burroughs Wellcome under the trade name of Methedrine, is a type of amphetamine where methyl is added to the formula.

Amphetamine and methamphetamine were both widely distributed to U.S. troops in World War II and the Korean War to help fight fatigue. There has been widespread use of methamphetamine among truck drivers since the 1950s. Amphetamine-related drugs, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), amphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine) and methamphetamine (Desoxyn), are commonly prescribed for children as young as age 3.

The passage of the U.S. Drug Abuse Regulation and Control Act of 1970 made it illegal to possess an amphetamine without a prescription, thereby protecting the monopoly of the corporate pharmaceutical industry.

Basically an amphetamine is a pep pill. It's a stimulant that increases wakefulness, increases physical activity, decreases appetite and causes euphoria. Methamphetamine, also know as "speed," has lots of drawbacks. It adversely affects the central nervous system and has many undesirable side effects including irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, intense paranoia, aggressiveness, diarrhea, excited speech, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea and even hallucinations. It's also highly addictive and can cause permanent brain damage -- a steep price to pay for a temporary energy boost.

As reported in The News in April 2001, Glen A. Williams, 49, of Mammoth Spring was tried before a jury in Fulton County for the following crimes:

1) Manufacture of a controlled substance, methamphetamine

2) Possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, methamphetamine

3) Possession of drug paraphernalia

He was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 40 years for each of the first two offenses and 20 years for the third, to be served consecutively for a total of 100 years in prison.

In May 2002, William McFadden, 34, of Mammoth Spring (and Hardy) was arrested in Fulton County on the following charges:

1) Manufacture of a controlled substance, methamphetamine

2) Possession of a controlled substance with an intent to deliver, methamphetamine

3) Possession of drug paraphernalia

4) Felony possession of a firearm As reported in The News on June 5, 2003, McFadden negotiated a plea agreement whereby he would pay $45,600 to Fulton County and agree to reside as an in-patient at a drug rehab center for one year.

This stinks like a pile of dead carp.

The Eighth Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution reads: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

One hundred years in prison for illegally manufacturing prescription-required pep pills is clearly excessive. One hundred days would have been more appropriate.

A civilized society does not inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon its citizens.

On the other hand, a one-year stint in a rehab hotel for the same crime in the same jurisdiction, thanks to a "generous contribution" to the county, exceeds the bounds of hypocrisy.

When money buys justice, there is no justice. And when there is no justice, there is no longer a civilized society.