And yet our legal system seems designed to punish the low level offender while protecting their counterparts in business and government.
These multi-billion dollar fines sound enormous, but like the one levied on Facebook, they represent a small portion of the company’s actual assets.
The list of deaths from the practice is long and oddly prestigious, featuring celebs such as John Belushi and Chris Farley, among many others.
We focus on the drug, as if someone who uses heroin, for instance, can’t also have a problem with alcohol, or sleeping pills, or methamphetamine, or this new, more potent form of marijuana that’s showing up everywhere.
Not Latin American cartels or Afghan warlords, but advocates for opioid treatment of chronic pain, and pharmaceutical firms with a substantial financial interest in selling opioids.
Still, if the epidemic is already 28 years old, then how much more effective would these steps have been if they had been initiated way back when?
Traditional middle class jobs with career prospects replaced by a lower-paid, less stable workforce– perhaps more vulnerable to outside influence?