“21 to drink coffee?”

by Walter Olson on May 10, 2013

“The U.S. FDA announced a plan to investigate and potentially regulate caffeine.” [James Hamblin, The Atlantic; Baylen Linnekin, Reason]

{ 7 comments }

1 david7134 05.10.13 at 4:58 pm

How about this, lets eliminate government control of all medications. As a physician and an individual that communicates with doctors on issues like this daily, I see no reason for the government to be involved in regulation of drugs. The majority of my peers seem to hold similar views. In many countries, regulations are being dropped and something strange has happened. Drug related violence has dropped in those countries, the people have more freedom, there is less need for physicians and expensive visits to see a doctor just to get a prescription, and the cost of medical care has gone down. In addition, addiction has not changed and, in sum, society has significantly benefited. As to caffeine, I can assure you that there are problems with its use. But those problems are the individuals concern and not those of the government.

Imagine a world were if you strain your back, you could go to the drug store and get pain medication and a muscle relaxant without a $2500 visit to the ER or waiting two weeks to see your doctor (with pain). Or for that matter having the only option of treatment being a low level pain medication that is the number one reason for renal failure.

2 VMS 05.10.13 at 5:36 pm

“Taylor’s comment came in the context of the FDA’s announcement that, as the organization put it, ‘in response to a trend in which caffeine is being added to a growing number of products, the agency will investigate the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents.'”

The results of this “research” already exist, so why spend tax money to duplicate it? Just read the old journals, look at already existing extensive research from the US Army, etc., and the effects of caffeine from a few mg./day to staggering doses is all there for people of all ages and conditions.

I did not drink coffee or caffeinated beverages before I was a freshman in college (mainly because I didn’t like the taste of instant which my parents drank, and I didn’t know any better). But, 34 years ago, during finals week, 8 of us in the dorm chipped in and bought a cheap coffee pot and six cans of coffee. No one accused us of having an unfair advantage on the exams or of “doping.” And drinking six cups a day for a week, had no ill effect.

From many years of drinking coffee, I know how much coffee is the right amount for me. 3-4 cups a day loaded towards the morning (1 cup in the afternoon) is about right. Your mileage may vary.

There are a class of people who get the jitters from just one cup, but it should be left up to each individual, including minors, on how much to drink (or not drink). The last thing that I need is the caffeine police telling me I can’t have that cup o’ Joe.

3 Anonymous Nicholas 05.10.13 at 7:44 pm

I just imagined that world. In it, four of my friends, two of my family members, and seventy thousand other Americans died each year from overdosing. Plus 1.1 million extra people died from automobile collisions. On the other hand, mafia profits dried up, so that was nice. I tried to decide if that was “worth it” and couldn’t quite decide.

Then I imagined a world where we made subtle non-ideological decisions about which drugs to regulate, and how. In that world, nobody died, but people were less “free” in the same way that today people are not “free” to own slaves or murder people.

I don’t know, it’s a tough choice.

4 Melvin H. 05.10.13 at 9:20 pm

Um, Anonymous Nicholas, please explain the “1.1 million extra people died from automobile collisions” line you used in your post. The number of people dead from auto crashes in 2011 (the last full year available) was 32,367. That means, to get to 1.1 million, the number of deaths on a yearly basis would have to rise by a factor of about 33.99 times.

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6 david7134 05.11.13 at 5:53 pm

Nicholas,
You need a lesson in logic. You see, you had two family members die with the most tyrannical laws in the world. So you go on to think that somehow these laws are making a difference. Have you ever thought that those that took an excessive amount of drugs wanted to die? Or that if they had a regular supply of drug that they might not be inclined to take too much to begin with? You can use all types of sentimental statements to justify the tyranny that we experience. But what you can’t do is make a firm, logical, evidence based argument that we are doing something that is making a difference. The problems that we have with drugs today are far worse than those before the prohibitive laws were passed, and they involve the same drugs. So how would granting us more freedom be harmful. Every authority suggest different, except for those that are making money off the system.

7 david7134 05.11.13 at 5:56 pm

Nicholas,
I just noticed the “mafia profits dried up”, are you aware that gangs and terrorist worldwide are profiting off the drug trade in the US and Europe? No profits have dried up. You sound like you need help.

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