As a Massachusetts drug crimes defense attorney, I have watched for years as countless citizens have been arrested and prosecuted for a wide variety of Massachusetts drug offenses – the majority of them needless prosecutions caused by the now half-century old “War on Drugs” that the federal government has used hundreds of billions of our tax dollars to “fight”. As a Boston drug crimes lawyer, I can assure my readers that this “War” has always been, and remains to this present day, a massive waste of taxpayer money, time and effort. Criminalizing drugs does nothing but create black markets, which creates drug lords, which creates crime, which causes violence, ruined lives and death. It is a very simple formula, with a very simple, predictable result: Destroyed lives, wasted money, and endless individual destruction. But it pays for a lot of police and other government jobs, doesn’t it?
Exhibit ‘A’ on this point? The decades-long prohibition on marijuana (cannabis). If the average person had any idea of how many peoples’ reputations, academic & educational prospects, careers and lives were ruined because they were arrested and prosecuted for using this harmless, non-addictive, non-toxic, and even medically beneficial substance, they would (hopefully) never vote again for any politician, federal or state, who continued to support such pathological approaches to drug policy.
So, especially when it comes to the devastating opioid crisis gripping this country, who are the real criminals? Look no further than the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry – one of the major players that make up corporate America. Here in Boston, a ray of light appeared recently with the prosecution and conviction of senior executives within a pharmaceutical company called Insys. Insys manufactures and markets a powerful opioid painkiller called “Subsys” – a prescription drug (fentanyl) developed to treat severe pain in cancer patients. So, what’s wrong with that? In one inevitable word, greed. You see, ‘Subsys’ costs a lot of money – as much as $19,000 per month for some cancer patients (which health insurance companies and Medicare are billed for.) What did federal prosecutors allege was going on inside this major pharmaceutical company? Here’s a short list: