[Politech] Florida to track users of legal drugs [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 20:36:58 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Florida to track [legal] drug users
    Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 17:38:27 -0400
    From: Stephen Cobb <editor@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <407CD237.3020003@private>
    My wife already lives in almost constant pain because, thanks to the DoJ,
    most Florida doctors are too scared to prescribe adequate pain medication.
    Now it seems that, thanks to an unholy alliance of Jeb Bush, John Ashcroft,
    and a big drug company, her use of medication will be tracked by the State
    Stephen Cobb
    State would keep list of controlled substance users under bill
    By David Royse, Associated Press, April 15, 2004
    TALLAHASSEE  State government would create a database of everyone in
    Florida who gets a prescription of certain controlled substances, under a
    measure approved by a House subcommittee Wednesday.
    The measure, aimed at saving lives [of selfish law-breakers who abuse
    prescription drugs] and fighting fraud and backed by Gov. Jeb Bush [who
    seems to have forgotten that Republicans are supposed to be in favor of
    less government intrusion], passed over the objections of a few who said it
    could violate people's privacy.
    Supporters say the sometimes deadly abuse of addictive prescription drugs
    [by law-breaking idiots] is fast becoming an epidemic, and they cite a
    desperate need to slow the spiraling costs of government health care
    programs beset by fraud [I dare them to prove pain pills are a significant
    factor in health care costs].
    Some lawmakers opposed the (CS HB 397) because it may give government
    another way to track what people do and because medications can be a very
    private matter. Rep. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, likened it to Communist
    practices in Cuba. "My parents fled a Communist country because everything
    was being centralized," Garcia said. "A centralized database, knowing what
    they're taking, what they're not taking, is a little concerning to me."
    The database would only keep track of people who get prescriptions for
    certain controlled substances, including narcotics like pain relievers
    oxycodone or Percocet, or the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. Children under 16
    would not be included in the database [the same legislature that is pushing
    parental notification of minor abortions wants to exempt a key group of
    drug abusers?].
    The U.S. Department of Justice, which is pushing such databases nationwide,
    would also help fund the database startup [as part of the ever-expanding
    DoJ monitoring of our private lives--how long before the drug data gets
    into CAPS II?] as would [and this is just as scary] Purdue Pharma, the
    maker of OxyContin that has pledged $2 million toward the program  an
    offer that expires in July. The pledge was made in November 2002 when the
    state dropped an investigation into how the company marketed OxyContin.
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