Steroids: Why They Should Be Legal

I have a buddy who lives in Mexico, where steroid use is allowed. Let me tell you something. There is no steroid problem in Mexico. The problem doesn't even raise an eyebrow.
Anyone, including a 15-year-old soccer player, may stroll into a pharmacy, go straight up to the counter, ask for Sustanon 250 and Deca preloaded ready-jects, pay his 500 pesos, and walk out, just as if he'd bought pink sugar cookies and a bottle of Gatorade. It's no problem.
And, strangely, no one has died as a result of steroid use in Mexico. There are no suicides among teenagers. Cheaters and allegations of wrongdoing are not common in sports. Parental advocacy groups aren't clamoring for legislation. Nobody is appearing in front of Congress, accusing steroid-addicted professional athletes of their son's claimed suicide (more on that character in a minute).
Apart from the effects of alcoholism, the liver and kidneys are healthy and functional. Juice isn't being blamed for murders. The precious youth's lives are spared.
In contrast, in America, just a sliver of land away from Mexico, steroids are an illegal, Schedule III drug, and congressmen have declared a "national public health crisis" because livers are sickening, kidneys are failing, cancer is on the rise, teens are hanging themselves, and otherwise normal people have psychotic episodes that end in madness, mayhem, murder, and death. Sports icons are shamed, the great American pastime's record books are riddled with asterisks, and our precious future pioneers, the youngsters, are in grave danger.
This is an interesting contrast. Steroids have been attributed cognitive abilities by the American media. On the one hand, they're touted as a miraculous treatment for muscle-wasting disorders, hypogonadism, and burn sufferers. They improve AIDS patients' quality of life, fight aging, develop muscle, burn fat, and improve performance on and off the field, as well as in the bedroom.
However, they are the modern era's plague, wreaking havoc among our youth and the sporting elite, causing disease, psychotic episodes, cancer, and death. And, in Mexico, they provide all of the aforesaid benefits while being relatively benign substances free of the ravages claimed in the United States.
What the media chose to inform us permitted the US government to commit one of the most egregious abuses of judicial power in history. And the government grabbed the hormones that our bodies naturally make, tagged them with a skull and crossbones, and declared anybody who own, use, import, or sell them illegal.
Steroids are forbidden because they are dangerous, you would suppose. Really? In comparison to what, exactly? See what happens if you swallow a bottle of Tylenol. See what happens if you swallow a bottle of Vitamin C. See what happens if you drink three gallons of water in one sitting.
What happens if you inject a full 10 cc bottle of testosterone? It's possible that you'll get a headache. MAYBE. What happens if you inject a whole vial of testosterone every day for a week? You'll probably gain 15 pounds on your bench, your bad cholesterol will probably increase, and you'll likely retain some water.
If you keep doing this for a month, your bench will likely increase by 50 pounds, your testes will cease releasing endogenous testosterone and atrophy significantly, and you may get acne on your shoulders and back. MAY. What happens if you stop taking testosterone? Everything stabilizes and goes back to normal – with (and without) PCT (post-cycle therapy).
After weeks of bingeing on whole bottles of Tylenol and Vitamin C, you can't say that. The acetaminophen, on the other hand, will almost certainly have permanently harmed or died your liver, while the vitamin C will have burned a hole in your stomach. However, steroids are banned, while Tylenol and vitamin C may be bought over the counter - even disguised as gummy bears!
Despite this reality, President George H. W. Bush signed the "Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990" into law 25 years ago, placing anabolic steroids to Schedule III of the DEA's list of banned chemicals. Scheduling a drug implies categorizing it based on its hazards, effectively making it a controlled substance that is prohibited. Schedule I drugs are the most deadly, while Schedule V drugs are the safest.
In 2004, the law was revised to include prohormones and other "steroid like" chemicals in the category, making anything that mimics testosterone, its derivatives, or its effects illegal.
Isn't it incredible? Steroids, a naturally occurring substance, are classified in the same legal category as amphetamines, methamphetamines, opiates, and morphine, despite the fact that, unlike the other drugs mentioned, they have no noticeable euphoric effects or impairment. This conundrum raises the question: Should steroids be legal? Twenty-five years later, this conundrum begs the question: Should steroids be legal? The answer is yes, and here’s why.
Years ago, a future president named Joe Biden and a crony named Dan Lungren rammed their steroid control bill through Congress, bypassing practically every requirement for scheduling a drug. I've gone over this procedure before, but the primary reason steroids should be lawful is that they were illegally criminalized in the first place for reasons that make no sense.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a set of criteria that a chemical must meet in order to be scheduled and classified as harmful. Do you want to see the list? It's as follows:
1. Its potential for abuse, whether real or imagined.
2. If known, scientific evidence of its pharmacological impact.
3. The present state of scientific knowledge on the medicine.
4. Its abuse history or present pattern.
5. Abuse's extent, duration, and significance.
6. What, if any, threat to public health exists.
7. Its vulnerability to psychiatric or physiological dependence.
8. Whether the drug is a direct precursor to a substance that is already restricted under this chapter.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services must make a scheduling recommendation based on the substance's relative propensity for misuse, accepted medical use, and capability for creating physical and psychological dependence after examining these eight considerations. The Attorney General must next request from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services a scientific and medical review of the substance and offer a recommendation as to whether the medication should be restricted and scheduled before advancing with this process.
However, experts from the American Medical Association, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and a number of other professionals, including professors, doctors, clinicians, and scientists, testified before Congress, all of whom advised against scheduling steroids.
It's worth noting that the CSA's legislative history is littered with hearings, discussions, and declarations that the DHHS' scientific and medical review is crucial to the scheduling process. The CSA's operational regulations reflect this background. Essentially:  
In such scientific and medical matters, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation to the Attorney General shall be binding on the Attorney General, and if the Secretary recommends that a drug or other substance not be controlled, the Attorney General shall not control the drug or other substance.
Did you understand what I said? Unless Joe Biden is driving the bulldozer, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services' word is final. After all was said and done, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services recommended to the Attorney General that steroids not be scheduled, based on testimony from members of the DEA and the American Medical Association, as well as the recommendations of the most knowledgeable experts.
But none of that was important. Anabolic steroids were reclassified as a Schedule III restricted substance by Congress. How? Because Kenneth Kashin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale, was Biden and Lungren's shill in the game. He uttered the phrases that the politicians wanted him to utter.
"Steroid use can cause an addiction with similarities to alcohol, opiate, and cocaine addiction," Dr. Kashin testified. (It's odd that alcohol is legal.) He also mentioned people who have "lost control of their behavior" or "become violent" while intoxicated on anabolic steroids. Basically a page from the Reefer Madness script.
Biden and Lungren were able to overturn all of the other experts' testimony, as well as hundreds of pages of Congressional transcript, and usurp the law of the nation, rendering the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation null and void. To advance their political purpose, they breached the law. Think about it.
What exactly was their plan? After several years of revelations of PED use in collegiate and Olympic sports, the sports lobby exerted pressure to prevent the flow of black market steroids to athletes and protect the myth of the "level playing field."
After taking the gold medal away from America's idol Carl Lewis at the 1988 summer Olympics, when Canadian Ben Johnson ran the 100 meters in an inhuman 9.76 seconds, and then got discovered for cheating by testing positive for Winstrol, the pressure became unbearable. The politicians' solution now had the issue it required, and the Steroid Control Act was quickly passed by Congress.
The law, however, has proven to be a colossal failure after two and a half decades on the books. For the personal use of anabolic steroids, hundreds of normally law-abiding Americans – not athletes, but mature adult males – have been arrested, arraigned, prosecuted, convicted, forfeited property, lost their jobs and licenses, and sentenced to prison.
Yet none of them have ever competed in an Olympic or professional sport. They aren't cheating in sports; in fact, they aren't even participating in sports. They, on the other hand, are the ones being dragged through the system by a legislation that was never meant for them.
The unholy alliance between outspoken alarmists with agendas who foment frenzy based on fabrication, the media who reports it, and vote-hungry lawmakers in Washington who believe they can do anything about it has greatly misrepresented the health hazards of steroids.
Consider pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who in 2007 strangled his wife and seven-year-old son before hanging himself from a lat pulldown machine in his home gym.
Toxicology testing revealed significant levels of alcohol, Xanax, and hydrocodone in his system, as well as slightly elevated testosterone cypionate due to the replacement dose he was taking, as well as the empty beer and wine bottles strewn beneath his body. (There was no prescription for the alcohol, Xanax, or hydrocodone.) Benoit was also suspected of suffering from a traumatic brain injury as a result of multiple concussions in the ring.
So, what was the first thing the media blamed for the tragedy? It wasn't the alcohol, Xanax, hydrocodone, a mix of them, or the repeated chair shots to the back of the skull, to give you a hint.
While a later investigation found that Benoit's repeated brain traumas caused a type of dementia that could have eventually led to the murder-suicide, the initial accounts of the event prompted numerous media reports of steroid use, leading to a federal investigation into steroid abuse in professional wrestling.
There was no Xanax, no hydrocodone, no booze, no mixing them, no head trauma... only steroids. The least likely of all the conceivable reasons, according to statistics.
This is how politicians gain support for a cause: by giving it a face. Here's the most well-known and terrible example.
In 2003, Congress held hearings on baseball steroids, devoting more time to the topic than the war in Iraq, the economy, healthcare, or why the levees in New Orleans failed during Hurricane Katrina combined.
Donald Hooton's testimony was heard during these hearings. Taylor, his son, hanged himself in his room a month after his 17th birthday. Taylor's parents and a doctor familiar with the matter believe his death was caused by depression that developed after he "discontinued the use of anabolic steroids."
His doctors advised that the exhilaration and aggression that come with steroid use can be replaced by other drugs, as well as this statement: "lethargy, loss of confidence, melancholy and hopelessness when a person stops using performance-enhancing drugs."
Dr. Larry W. Gibbons, president and medical director of the Cooper Aerobics Center, suggested that there was a pretty strong argument that he was withdrawing from steroids, and his suicide was directly tied to that. This is a kid who was well-liked, had a large number of good friends, and had no serious emotional issues. He had a promising future ahead of him.
All of it was a lie. The Hooton family had a history of depression, according to numerous subsequent scientific examinations of the circumstances of the case. The mother was being treated for depression and was taking psychotropic drugs, while the sister had tried suicide. Taylor was taking the antidepressant Lexipro, which has a long history of inducing suicidal ideation in adolescent patients, according to medical research. However, none of this was mentioned.
Despite the fact that there had never been a report of a suicide linked to the use of steroids, Hooton testified before Congress that he knew steroids killed his son and that professional athletes who use steroids convey a terrible and lethal message to our young. He went on to turn his tearful appearance before Congress into superstar status, touring the country and speaking out against steroid use among children. He founded the Taylor Hooton Foundation and used guilt to persuade people like Bud Selig and others to donate millions of dollars to his anti-steroid crusade, all while earning a great income.
Anti-steroid attitude like this is at the heart of why steroids should be legal. The allegations are nothing more than exaggerated hysteria that are simply untrue.
The bottom line is science, not the emotional fiction produced by alarmists such as Hooton and the media, which cares more about ratings than facts. A simple comparison of steroids to all other legal vices in America, such as alcohol and cigarettes, as well as other over-the-counter treatments, shows that steroids should be legal, at least for adult men in excellent health and under the supervision of a doctor.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence to back up anything else. While it's true that science doesn't establish negatives and that any long-term study with supra-pharmacological amounts of gear would be unethical, I'd want to highlight a few things science has taught us.
The evidence constantly shows that steroid users are not the stereotypical "drug junkies" on the periphery of society, but rather average, hardworking people.
Rick Collins, America's leading steroid litigator, and two colleagues – one a doctor, the other a psychology professor – performed an anonymous study of 2,000 adult male non-medical steroid users from 81 nations, the largest sample of this demographic ever researched in-depth. The findings were published in the International Society of Sports Nutrition's peer-reviewed Journal. A fresh team of Mayo Clinic researchers did a similar poll in 2015 with 231 male respondents, focused on testosterone, and the results were reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The statistics showed that the same people – better incomes, older, more educated, and more likely to be married – were still using steroids for the same reasons, in the same amounts, and with the same level of responsibility fifteen years later. Few other types of illicit drug users would have their health markers checked on a frequent basis.
Over a 15-year period, the side effects appear to be mild and benign, and are exactly what you would expect with androgenic medicines, researchers suggested.
When the facts are added up and the lies are subtracted, the best case for repealing or reforming the steroid prohibition is that the greatest risk steroids represent to the user is to his freedom. The best way to put it is as follows:
When Congress designated anabolic steroids as banned substances 25 years ago, the goal was to crack down on the drug's underground market and get steroids out of sports. How did it turn out? Like the first voyage of the Titanic. Legitimacy — in this case, doctors and Big Pharma – was driven out, while the illegal market blossomed and doping spread throughout sports, much like it did during prohibition.
So, should steroids be legal? What do you think?