Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I beg your pardon

Quote of the day goes to a major victim of the war on some drugs.

"We've become mad in our pursuit of drug-law violations. Generations to come will look back and scarcely believe what we've done to sick people." -Richard Paey
We've been following Paey since he was arrested for allegedly forging pain med prescriptions just about the same time as Rush Limbaugh. Rush went rehab. Paey, rather than cut a deal and admit to a crime he didn't commit, went to jail. The NYT picks up the story.
Mr. Paey, who is 46, suffers from multiple sclerosis and chronic pain from an automobile accident two decades ago. It damaged his spinal cord and left him with sharp pains in his legs that got worse after a botched operation.
He couldn't find a doctor who would prescribe enough medication to allow him to function so he did see several doctors. Unfortunately, one of the doctors, who was obviously afraid of DEA retribution, testified he didn't prescribe medications that he in fact, had prescribed. In spite of pharmacist's testimony in support of Paey, he was convicted under Draconian laws in Florida and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Ironically, he receives better medication in prison, where they have furnished him with a morphine pump instead of the pills that landed him there in the first place. Had he been able to obtain that logical treatment on the outside without DEA intimidation of pain management physicians, he would be home with his family and contributing to the tax base instead of wasting away alone in a jail cell at the expense of your tax dollars.

There is no evidence he ever sold a single pill yet he was convicted of trafficking. It took the DA three tries to convict him. I think they only managed it because Rush's arrest had sent the media into a feeding frenzy about doctor shoppers and the black market in pain meds.

Rush, to remind you, had procured a great deal of medication on the black market. Paey had not. Yet Rush, who could afford lawyers to delay his case forever, is still free and receiving copious amounts of money to spew White House rhetoric.

The prosecution and incarceration of Richard Paey serves no purpose. This wheelchair bound man is clearly no danger to society and his sentence does not serve justice. He should be pardoned immediately. Unfortunately there's fat chance of that with Jeb Bush at the other end of the pen.

[hat tip to Preston Peet]


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