Justin’s note: “Enjoy looking over your shoulder, constantly wondering if today’s the day we come for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you.”
This sounds like something from an ‘80s action movie. But that’s an actual quote from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Tavares, Florida.
Sheriff Grinnell delivered this message last month while flanked by four combat-ready officers wearing ski masks. It looks like someone from ISIS directed it. You can watch the bizarre video here.
Grinnell’s message was aimed at local drug dealers. You see, Lake County has a serious opioid problem. And like many other places in the US, it’s fighting its drug problem as if it were a war.
After I watched it, I called up Casey Research founder Doug Casey to get his take on the opioid crisis. Below is a transcript of our conversation. We hope you enjoy it.
Justin: Doug, what do you make of the opioid crisis?
Doug: The news cycle seems to be emphasizing the use of opioids at the moment. Now, these are almost all legal prescription drugs, not illegally smuggled heroin and morphine, as was the case in The French Connection. People get their doctors to prescribe opioids for pain. Of course, pain is not something that you can prove. So it’s legitimate for doctors to prescribe these things. After a while the patient may develop a chemical dependency.
This gets into why people become addicted. I’m of the opinion that all kinds of addictions, not just the opioids in question, but addictions to cocaine, meth, other kinds of narcotics, alcohol, or anything else are basically because of pain.
But it’s not necessarily physical pain. It’s psychological pain, which may be even more important. And psychological pain means that people want to check out of reality. So as the economy gets worse—and I think it will get much, much worse in the near future—you can expect levels of addiction to skyrocket, not to go down.
Addiction is a bad habit, but it’s nobody else’s business. From an ethical point of view, your primary possession is your own body. If you don’t own it, and have a right to do whatever you want with it, then you in fact have no rights at all. That’s why the drug war itself is criminal, and morally insane.
The efforts of dangerous idiots like Sheriff Grinnell are counterproductive. If they confiscate a ton of drugs, that just drives up the market price for those that remain. And increases the profits of dealers, drawing more dealers into the business. And encouraging addicts who can’t afford the higher prices to turn to crime in order to support their habit. That’s entirely apart from increasing the level of violence in society, corrupting the police, and lots of other negative fallout.
To continue reading: Doug Casey on the Opioid Crisis