Sunday May 19, 2019
SNc Channels:



Mar-19-2011 00:56printcomments

Part I - Flamingo Pipeline - Florida to New York City - OxyContin Epidemic

"I am deeply sorry I did not live up to what was expected" - Eliot Spitzer, disgraced governor of New York upon leaving office

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - Even though 34 states already have a monitoring program in place, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida says the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is "unproven" and could "violate people's right to privacy." Is Scott on track for becoming this country's next disgraced governor?

It's called "The Flamingo Express" by feds -- the pipeline of illegally sold prescription drugs -- especially OxyContin -- from Florida to New York City.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York has joined three fellow Democratic senators in asking Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott not to do away with a program -- created before his election -- that's purpose was to seal up the pipeline's underground market of OxyContin and other dangerous prescription drugs. "Such a policy not only leaves Florida exposed to criminal elements . . . but also has serious ramifications for the rest of the country," wrote Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in a letter sent to Scott in February. "Young adults are particularly at risk," added Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). ". . . Prescription drugs are the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury in Rhode Island and 15 other states." Scott's budget proposal called for repealing the drug-trafficking law and a monitoring system before they could begin. They currently operate in 34 states.

A copy of the letter to Governor Scott can be found below.

February 20, 2011

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Dear Governor Scott:

We write today with grave concerns regarding the elimination of Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program in your recently released budget. Such a policy not only leaves Florida exposed to criminal elements in the business of trafficking controlled substances, but also has serious ramifications for the rest of the country battling abuse of prescription drugs. We urge you to reconsider your efforts to eliminate this important program.

As you may know, seven million Americans reported nonmedical use of prescription drugs in 2009 according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). That is more than the number of Americans abusing inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine, and heroin combined, and ranks second only to cannabis in abuse among illicit drug users. Even more troubling, by 2007 one out of every ten high school seniors was abusing prescription drugs, and prescription drugs were causing more drug overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

Recent congressional testimony by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) identifies a trend of criminal organizations establishing a thriving business of transporting individuals to and from States lacking strong prescription drug monitoring programs and regulations. Indeed, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has identified three major hubs for this traffic, the most significant of which originates in the tri-county area of South Florida (Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties). News reports have dubbed traffic out of Florida as the “Oxy Express,” and the “Flamingo Express.” Florida is the only major hub without an operational prescription drug monitoring program.

There are significant federal resources being dedicated to this major problem. This comes in the form of DEA working with other federal, state, and local agencies to crack down on rogue pain clinics through its Tactical Diversion Squads, as well as through the ONDCP operated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program. Additionally, there are two federal funding programs which were created to assist states like Florida in the implementation and enhancement of prescription drug monitoring programs: the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and SAMHSA’s National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER) Program.

A study sponsored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicated that prescription drug monitoring programs successfully reduce the amount of prescription pain relievers and stimulants available for diversion and probability of abuse. Forty-two states have authorized drug monitoring programs, and thirty-four are operational.

These programs are critical in our collective combat against the abuse of these controlled substances. We respectfully ask you to reconsider the elimination of Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program.

Thank you for your prompt and careful consideration of this matter.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York

Senator Schumer has good cause to be worried about his state of New York and the OxyContin plague.  Recently two newspapers in New York City reported that 1 in 8 New Yorkers is on OxyContin.

The "Wall Street Journal" has reported that prescriptions for OxyContin in New York City have doubled between 2007 and 2010[1].

The "New York Daily News" recently reported an OxyContin drug bust -- run out of an ice cream truck on Staten Island, New York[2].

The drug was sold to adults several ways - but most often for $20 a pill from an ice cream truck, prosecutors said -- dishing out $1 million a year in OxyContin sales.

A network of runners -- many addicts -- filled the prescriptions in exchange for cash or drugs at nearly two dozen pharmacies, mostly mom-and-pop shops in Staten Island, authorities said.

"This ring was operating in the safest police precinct in New York City," said Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan. "We're equating this to the beginning of an epidemic similar to when crack was first introduced" Donovan further stated.

So who is this guy Rick Scott that the voters of Florida made their Governor -- and why is he arbitrarily stonewalling prescription drug monitoring in his state? Florida is leading in the country as one of the highest numbers of deaths due to OxyContin.

In 1987 Scott helped found the Columbia Hospital Corporation with two business partners and a merger resulted with Hospital Corporation of America in 1989 to form Columbia/HCA and eventually became the largest private for-profit health care company in the U.S. He was forced to resign as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a scandal over the company's business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to fourteen (14) felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history[3].

Some sources report the fine levied against the group was actually $1.7 billion[4].

Scott entered into politics in 2010, when he announced his intention to run for Governor of Florida. Having defeated Bill McCollum in the Republican primary election, Scott defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a close race in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial election.

My question to the voters of Florida is 'What were you thinking when you voted this guy Scott in as your governor? Could he have financial ties to the pharmaceutical/health industry thus his reasoning for opposing a prescription drug monitoring program in his OxyContin ravaged state of Florida?"

Part 2 -- Purdue Pharma, criminally convicted of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused, offers a $1 million "ice cream cone" to Florida in the epidemic caused by the pharmaceutical company's lies.

LP “Meeting was fate, becoming friends was choice, falling in love was a gift from God.”


[1] Oxy Usage Doubles in Three Years - Wall Street Journal

[2] Oxycodone ring busted: $1 million-a-year business run out of ice cream truck on Staten Island -

[3] Rick Scott - From Wikipedia

[4] Rick Scott and the fraud case of Columbia/HCA St. Petersburg Times - The Miame Herald Politifact Florida Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's who pled guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 7-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.

Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
You can send Marianne an email at:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

chris January 28, 2013 3:44 am (Pacific time)

google it: " big Pharma afghan opium" Hello!!!! do your own research also type in CIA cocaine Mena Bush Clinton it's all about the $$$$$$ so what we spends billions on jails, courts, police, ER overdose, Big Pharma making 700 Billion. taxpayers foot the bill- Win Win

Anonymous March 21, 2011 12:50 pm (Pacific time)

two articles today about oxycotin. hmmm. I work minimal part-time with drug addicts. Oxycotin is only the beginning. Oxycotin is expensive even on the black market, so people go to the cheap and potent heroin that is coming from afghanistan, which has been publicly admitted that our marines are guarding the poppy fields, and educated rumors that CIA is making money from it for covert operations. Just thought I'd let ya know. Whether CIA is making money really doesnt matter. Our marines (fact) are guarding the poppy fields and afghanistan now produces 90% of the heroin going out to the world. Russia and Iran have complained to the U.N. These are facts. I also know that Ibogaine is an amazing cure for drug adiction. It is an herb from Africa. It is illegal in the U.S. probably because it is an herb and the pharma industry cant patent it. Instead, we get methodone, pateneted by the rockefellers, which is worse than heroin. And suboxin is an opiate, so...u get the point.

[Return to Top]
©2019 All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

Articles for March 18, 2011 | Articles for March 19, 2011 | Articles for March 20, 2011
Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.

Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin