The 60 minute expose based on DEA propaganda claiming to be exposure of government collaboration with opioid manufacturers has caused quite an uproar. However, here are the facts of the matter. First, it was not Rep. Marino’s bill (H.R. 471) that became law. It was Senator Hatch’s bill, S. 483. However, since Rep Marino did author the first bill, and he was chosen to become the new “drug czar”, it is obvious that the DEA wanted to do whatever they could to stop his assignment. That was successful. Rep Marino has backed out of the nomination for the position.
Now what is all the fuss about? Why is the DEA saying that the bill ties their hands behind their back? Because they have been illegally raiding, indicting, and prosecuting innocent physicians, pharmacists, and now have their eye on the manufacturers, and the new law did make one important change to their practices. The change is in 21 U.S.C. 824 (c)(2)(a) which states:
“(2) An order to show cause under paragraph (1) shall– “(A) contain a statement of the basis for the denial, revocation, or suspension, including specific citations to any Laws or regulations alleged to be violated by the applicant or registrant;
Basically, in years past, the DEA illegally used the Controlled Substance Act to enter an innocent doctor’s or pharmacist’s office and simply slap down a suspension order. There would be no warning, no reason given, just one day you have a business, and the next day you don’t. This law has prevented them from doing that, but that is a good thing, not bad. According to the law as it now states, the DEA has to show cause for the suspension to take place. Now I have to tell you that the DEA court is a farce. The judge backs the DEA prosecutor against anyone brought before them, with the catch-all “against public interest”. But for the government to have to state what law is being broken by the practitioner should not be against anyone’s beliefs in a proper statement. After all, that is supposed to be what our legal system is supposed to protect. Also, since most of the time doctors are not even aware that they could be charged with any infractions of the Controlled Substance Act, since they are practicing medicine legitimately, it is also important for them to be given the chance to submit a corrective action plan. So basically, the law proposed by Rep Marino and carried to law by Senator Hatch, with modifications, is a good law. CBS and its program 60 minutes are, in my opinion, getting something from their one-sided, inaccurate assessment of a law, and their support of an evil-doer.
And how does Mr. Rannazzisi get the term “whistleblower”? That term would indicate he is ratting on the DEA and their tactics, not the legitimate method of law-making being done in Congress. To me, a better description of Mr. Rannazzisi is a whiny weeny.
If you are interested, there is a side-by-side comparison of the two bills on a page: S.484 vs. H. R. 471: on 60 minutes. It is the one on the left, by Senator Hatch, that became law.