Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is Rush Really an idiot?

Is Rush Really an Idiot?
Al Franken a few years ago wrote a book titled “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot”. At the time, I, like most people, shrugged it off as an exercise of comedic license. But some recent news stories are making me reassess that judgment.
First, let me refresh your memory. Rush got into serious trouble and had to scramble for a plea bargain that involved some time in rehab. It seems he had bullied his housekeeper into illegally buying OxyCotin for him. The investigation revealed that he had also done some doctor shopping and obtained multiple prescriptions for the drug.
This week, the Celebrity Sphere (and some of the more legitimate media as well) was full of pictures of Patrick Sweazy toking up on marijuana as an adjunct to his treatment for pancreatic cancer. The pictures reminded me that Montel Williams has been broadcasting his use of medical marijuana for years. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these gentlemen has even raised a prosecutor’s eyebrow.
Then other recent stories came to mind. Michael Jackson’s death was the most recent. Apparently he had been using mammoth amounts of controlled substances, including at least one sedative rarely used outside of controlled hospital settings, for years. His resident personal physician prescribed them and those prescriptions were filled by licensed pharmacies. Michael had his legal problems, but these didn’t include drug problems. But now that he is dead, the DEA is taking a hard, cold look at the doctor. Why didn’t his massive Schedule II prescriptions draw the Feds’ attention while he was still living in the penumbra of Michael’s stardom?
Michael’s story is a reprise of that of Anna Nicole Smith, but while he earned his stardom by singing and dancing, she was famous for having big boobs, and a willingness to show them, and a propensity for marrying aged oil tycoons. She died of a massive overdose of opioids, as had her son a few months earlier. After she was safely dead and buried, the authorities started investigating her lawyer and doctors about her sources for those drugs, which she had been using for years.
Heath Ledger’s use of and access to sleeping medicines raised no questions. But when he died of an overdose, everyone suddenly wanted to know where he got them.
Hollywood has presented a dreary series of drug-filled lives ending in scandalous deaths ranging through John Belushi’s speedball to Marilyn Monroe’s end in the ‘50s, which still sparks debates about misadventure, suicide, or homicide. Even some of the notorious deaths in Hollywood’s first cocaine binge in the ‘20s can probably be included.
Rock musicians don’t have to die to be exempt. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were arrested on drugs charges before the Rolling Stones were famous, but the charges were dismissed. Forty years later, many wonder what led Kefe (“I can avoid drugs as long as I have a quart of vodka and an ounce of cocaine every day”) to climb a tree and fall out of it. The Toxic Twins, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, were in and out of rehab for years – but never a jail cell. Eric Clapton, Nicky Sixx, and Slash have all written memoirs full of drugs, pushers, accommodating agents, and not one police officer.
Michael Vicks went to prison for staging dog fights, while Michael Phelps got his picture in the papers hitting a bong and losing some advertising contracts but not going to jail. Baseball players support a growth industry in steroids, but never miss a game.
I hope some of you ace legal researchers can help me. I have scoured the texts of the Controlled Substances Act and the Bill of Rights and traced the relevant case law. I have found no evidence of or reference to a celebrity exemption to the drug laws; but the evidence says it has to be there. If any of you are more successful in finding it, please let me know.
But this brings me back to my original question: What about Rush Limbaugh and his OxyCotin? Is Rush too noble and egalitarian to claim a celebrity exemption not available to Joe Public? Is he too cheap to hire a live-in personal physician to write prescriptions and provide him a cover? Or is he truly a big, fat idiot?

1 comment:

  1. There has always been a celebrity/wealth exemption. No system that I am aware of has ever not had one to a greater or lesser extent.

    And don't forget Progressive Peter Lewis. ;-)

    Magic Word: fetede