Thursday, January 04, 2007

"Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue"


Some things never change. Like conservatives and their legal use of hard core, mind altering drugs. How about conservative judges who put in prison, the poor who sell drugs to support themselves? Surely, a Supreme Court Justice would stand firm against such a weak personality trait. Opps! AP reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI's file on former Chief Justice William Rehnquist -- made public more than a year after his death -- offers insight into hallucinations and other symptoms of withdrawal that Rehnquist suffered when he was taken off a prescription painkiller in 1981.

When Rehnquist checked into a hospital in 1981 for a week long stay, doctors stopped administering the drug, causing what a hospital spokesman at the time said was a "disturbance in mental clarity."

The FBI file, citing one of his physicians, said Rehnquist experienced withdrawal symptoms that included trying to escape the facility and discerning changes in the patterns on the hospital curtains. The justice also thought he heard voices outside his room discussing various plots against him.

The doctor said Placidyl is a highly toxic drug and that she could not understand why anyone would prescribe it, especially for long periods.

Prior to his hospitalization, Rehnquist occasionally slurred his speech in his questions to lawyers at Supreme Court arguments. Those problems ceased when he changed medications, the doctor said.

And by the way, the story also indicated that "an additional 207 pages were withheld under the federal disclosure law, and the FBI said an entire section of his file could not be found." I believe that is held under the "What Happens in Tijuana Stays in Tijuana Statute of 1953"

Fun Fact of the Day : During their hayday, on the street Pacidyl were known as "jelly-bellies".

4 comments:

Thrillhous said...

I wonder if I could give those to my baby.

Jack Shafer did a good article about this in Slate last year. My favorite part is Orrin Hatch defending slick Willy:

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, defended Rehnquist in a Post story, saying he got into trouble with Placidyl because he was "a very compliant patient" who "followed the advice" of his doctors. Ah, yes, one of the most brilliant jurists of his time was the victim of his rotten doctors for almost a decade!

Mike said...

I heard a rumor that the Republicans used to call themselves the party of personal accountability.

Smitty said...

It's about anger versus passion. I have always found it a bit dubious that the people who are truly angry at a behavior, not because they themselves were a victim (which is jutifiable), but truly just spitefully angry, are usually involved in that behavior on a personal level. Huge anti-homosexual pedophilia demagogues, for example, who are not themselves victims of having been touched by their uncles when they were young, usually turn out to be, well, huge homosexual pedophiliacs themselves. By way of example.

Victims of behavior derive a passion for their cause, not red-faced anger (sure, there is an angry period, but the passion for a cause is part of the cure).

It's the difference between setting up an organization that benefits similar victims versus red-faced, spitting rants on CNN.

S.W. Anderson said...

Those are some good, valid insights, Smitty.

I was suprised a few years ago to come across an article in which a group of lawyers and judges, state and federal, questioned the so-called war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing for drug abuse, especially involving lesser amounts of marijuana. These legal types included conservatives.

I don't know where Rehnquist stood on the matter.

S.D., this much should be kept in mind, in pointing up the seeming hypocrisy of judges: whatever their personal feelings, they have to apply laws passed and enacted by other people.