$572 million for opioids.
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That’s how much Johnson and Johnson must pay Oklahoma for its role in the addiction crisis, a judge has ruled.
It’s a landmark ruling. And it may be just the beginning.
Everyone knows America is the land of personal responsibility. But everyone also now knows it’s the land of pills. Pills for everything. Birth control. Serotonin reuptake inhibition. And everything in between.
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Hormones and prescription chemicals are flooding our water supply… and if they’re not quite “turning the frogs gay,” as the joke goes online, well… why ARE sperm counts among men and dogs declining so fast, so precipitously?
People have questions about America’s pills.
But one query they lack is who’s paying… and who’s earning money hand over fist. The pharmaceutical companies, despite their intimate involvement in the lives of millions and millions of us, are on the list of bad guys in today’s America.
The price tags aren’t the only reason why. And it’s not just how much we have to pay for our legal drugs. It’s who pockets all the change.
A tiny elite. That thinks the bonanza will never end.
That kind of money does funny things to people. Kind of like… a pill.
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Everyone jokes online about taking the Matrix-style “pill” that’ll “wake you up” to the dark reality THEY don’t want you knowing about.
But with the opioids, the dark reality is in broad daylight.
And personal responsibility can’t quite explain why all those super addictive painkillers swamped rural white America.
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Personal responsibility is no guide to who gave this stuff away like candy, who passed it off as medicine, and who knew full well what they were doing, and to whom.
A population the tiny elite didn’t give a damn about. Wanted to enrich themselves killing off, is how many Americans are beginning to look at things. Took advantage of the weakened, the hopeless, the rejected and alone.
Now karma is coming to collect.
But will paying a bill be enough to reset the scales of justice? Or will Americans demand what they wanted for the financial elite in 2009 and never got: prison time?
How much of big pharma is about to be singled out for something that strikes ever more of us as mass murder?
And how ready is our justice system to adjudicate those claims?
We’re about to find out. The latent rage from 20 years of zero penalty living among the jersey is boiling over… and it has no other clear outlet. For many rural Americans, this feels like a last chance… maybe too late… to exact, at a minimum, vengeance.
$572 million might resemble chump change compared to the change to come.