ICYMI: A Bipartisan Drug Cartel?

ICYMI: A Bipartisan Drug Cartel?

“As false as it is implausible.” That’s how a Wall Street Journal editorial describes a recent story by the Washington Post that alleges a conspiracy between the pharmaceutical industry and lawmakers to hamper the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As the editors write:

“Perhaps you’ve heard that President Trump’s drug office nominee colluded with pharmaceutical companies to worsen the opioid crisis, based on a press dispatch this month. The resulting panic could result in reversing a useful law, so allow us to fill in the real story of this grand non-conspiracy that included 535 Members of Congress and Barack Obama. …

“A Washington Post and ‘60 Minutes’ investigation implied that a bill Mr. [Tom] Marino sponsored choked off the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to go after illegal shipments of prescription drugs. The narrative drums along that Mr. Marino was a shill for the pharmaceutical lobby. Members of Congress are now calling to repeal the law that passed both chambers unanimously and Mr. Obama signed last year.”

The points raised in the editorial mirror those that were expressed by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who wrote that the Washington Post story “paints a misleading picture in which the bill’s sponsors steamrolled a cowed DEA into submission and then hoodwinked their congressional colleagues into passing something they didn’t understand.” Sen. Hatch added that “nothing could be further from the truth.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board is the latest to shed light on a story that columnist Holman Jenkins Jr. says “seems almost purposely to mislead.” You can read the full editorial here.

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