What would happen to you if law enforcers discovered that you were distributing a lot of opioids in your area? The most likely outcome would involve a SWAT team storming into your home at oh dark thirty, shooting your dog, and holding your family at gunpoint until they become bored with tossing your joint and decide to kidnap you so they can go home. You would receive this treatment because of a combination of two factors. First, the government had decided that there is an opioid epidemic that it needs to fight. Second, you’re not a sanctioned opioid dealer.
But things are different for sanctioned opioid dealers:
Drug companies hosed tiny towns in West Virginia with a deluge of addictive and deadly opioid pills over the last decade, according to an ongoing investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
For instance, drug companies collectively poured 20.8 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the small city of Williamson, West Virginia, between 2006 and 2016, according to a set of letters the committee released Tuesday. Williamson’s population was just 3,191 in 2010, according to US Census data.
When you’ve received a government sanction to deal drugs you don’t end up looking down the barrel of a SWAT team gun in the middle of the night. Instead some letters of inquiry are sent to you and various oversight boards. You might be dragged in front of Congress to testify on C-SPAN so the country can see that their politicians are doing something. After being grilled by two or three members of Congress you will be allowed to return home and that’s where your hardship will likely end.
Situations like this really illustrate that the war on drugs isn’t about safety, it’s about the government ensuring it and its cronies get a cut. After all, if the government was actually concerned about the opioid epidemic that it claims to be fighting, opioids wouldn’t be legally available at all or, at the very least, situations like this would result in immediate arrests.