06/27/2006 01:50 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Free Rush Limbaugh! (Again)

Today, several state and federal employees in Florida have to look themselves in the mirror and say, "Oh my flippin' Christ, I spent time, as part of my job, quizzing Rush Limbaugh about his bulge pills."

Yes, brothers and sisters and whatnot, the ridiculous war on some drugs has bagged yet another embarrassment. Which appears to be its only function at this point. Come on, the state can't make that much dough selling off all the houses, cars, boats, and bongs they confiscate, can they?

Drug warriors are not providing any kind of public service, unless embarrassing and ruining people is worth an astonishing 50 billion taxpayer bucks every year. That's enough to buy every US citizen a three-day pass to Disney World (not including the Park Hopper option), an iPod Nano with 25 songs from iTunes, or, depending on your locale, 3 quarter-ounces of so-so weed.

"But, but, but," I hear people sputtering like dieters on the "Jenny Crank" plan, "they're protecting the chiiiiiiiildrennnnn!" Which is, of course, crap. To put on my Johnnie Cochran moustache for a second, "Who are we protectin', from what Limbaugh's erectin'?"

The laws on "doctor shopping" appear to be designed not to protect the chiiiiiiiildrennnnnnn or anybody else. The rationale is, or seems to be, "People might disobey their doctors' orders and harm themselves. We must protect them from themselves!" Which is a cute thought. Just darling. But there's no law against disobeying doctors' orders, is there? If a doctor says, "Lose that gut or start coffin-shoppin'," as they do daily (to me, anyway), do we have chub enforcement agents to make sure the patient doesn't mainline Krispy Kremes? No. Or at least not yet. So why would our government officially and expensively care whether you mash up your OxyContin into burger-size patties and serve it up with Valium gravy? Who gives a damn whether you whip up a 50-Viagra smoothie and make yourself into a granite statue with each limb sticking straight out?

If you can afford too much, you should be free to take too much. Up to and including, if you wanted, dying of an overdose. Sure, that would make you an idiot (with very few exceptions, all of which involve blinding pain), but at least I wouldn't have to pay for federal babysitters to scowl at you and collect your pee.

No amount of money, police harassment, or made-for-teevee humiliation is going to force everybody to follow some naïve, well-intentioned (if we're being charitable), teetotalling life plan. It is inescapably hypocritical for "I don't want some little kid doing what I tried" Bush to allow citizen one to be arrested for any kind of drugs.

So leave Rush alone. Along with everybody else who's not hurting anybody except, maybe, themselves. The authorities need to kick their addiction to the fleeting Puritan satisfaction of pillorying folks who want a little pick-me-up, let-me-sleep, or get-me-hard. Drop the fifty billion straight into education, and maybe we can build a workforce skilled enough to support us all in our overdosed dotage.