Posted BY: Jeffrey B. Stamm

In 1958, Leonard A. Read penned the timeless, iconic essay, “I, Pencil.”  His eloquent message, told from the perspective of the simple pencil, has served to instruct millions of people on how the complexity and brilliance of the free market economy — versus a socialist, centrally planned one — has been nothing less than a miracle in the practical application of uplifting mankind.  The following is meant to pay homage to Read’s formidable use of the first person, this time conveyed from a dangerous psychoactive drug, to demonstrate the destructive consequences of failing to combat criminal enterprises in their aggressive predation of society.

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I am fentanyl — an ordinary chemical of extraordinary power. I am both a useful medicine and a fiendish poison. I was created as a synthetic alternative to the narcotic drugs naturally found in the opium plant. Depending on my molecular variety, or analogue, I can be as much as 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Like heroin, named after the German word “heroic” for its astonishing strength, I am now more powerful and profuse than my opium-based cousin in the human desire for psychoactive “recreation.”

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