Dump Judge Judy Campaign Growing, Needs Volunteer Monitors, Pain Patients Speak Out 3/24/00

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Since the launch of our web site, DumpJudgeJudy.com (http://www.dumpjudgejudy.com) two weeks ago, nearly 400 people have used the site to write to Judge Judy show sponsors, and the campaign continues to garner publicity. The Dump Judge Judy campaign, and DRCNet itself, are reported to have been mentioned on the Howard Stern show last Friday, and DRCNet Executive Director David Borden has been a guest on radio programs from Fargo, North Dakota to Los Angeles, California.

WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP TO TAKE THE CAMPAIGN TO A HIGHER LEVEL. Our greatest need right now is to gather more sponsor names and track who is advertising where. If you have access to the Judge Judy show on TV, please watch the commercials, as often as you can, and let us know which companies are advertising which products in which parts of the country. EXPANDING THE LIST OF SPONSORS WILL INCREASE OUR CHANCES OF GETTING MORE SPONSORS TO DROP, WHICH WILL INCREASE THE HEAT ON JUDGE JUDY AND GARNER MORE FAVORABLE PUBLICITY FOR OUR ISSUES. The Judge Judy show station and schedule in your area can be found through a search at http://www.gist.com.

WE ALSO NEED MORE OF YOU TO TAKE ACTION. Please visit http://www.dumpjudgejudy.com if you haven't already, register your displeasure with some of her advertisers, and use our state legislative contact form to send a letter to your local politicians supporting needle exchange.

(For background on the Judge Judy controversy, which is related to her remarks about drug addicted people and injection-related AIDS -- she is reported to have said "Give 'em dirty needles and let 'em die" while promoting her book in Australia -- visit http://www.dumpjudgejudy.com and our two previous Week Online articles at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/128.html#dumpjudgejudy and http://www.drcnet.org/wol/129.html#judy in our archive.)

As reported last week, the Dump Judge Judy campaign, which began last fall around the issue of needle exchange and drug-related blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, has expanded to include the efforts of pain patient advocates, led by the American Society for Action on Pain (ASAP), who were deeply offended by Judge Judy's prejudiced treatment of a pain patient on her show last month.

With the help of ASAP president Skip Baker and other ASAP members, posts made to ASAP's list about the Judge Judy show last month have now been located. We include them here because they are educational about the plight that pain patients face in the "war on drugs" and the damage that a TV personality can cause. Over the next week we will be offering a new section of DumpJudgeJudy.com dealing with the pain issue.

(The pain patient letters follow here; note that the apparent time discrepancies are due to the senders living in different time zones.)

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 01:00
From: [email protected] (Jo)

Did anyone see Judge Judy Tuesday night? I am livid about her reaction to the plaintiff! This woman takes 20-25 Vicodins a month and Judge Judy said that she was too drugged up to know what was going on. This jerk that took this lady for a small amount of money, was let off. Judge Judy was more concerned about the woman's prescription pain meds. She asked the woman if she took pain pills everyday. The woman said "No." Judy screamed at her, saying "If you get 25 a month, then you must be taking them almost everyday, considering there are only 30 days in the month!"

DAH, maybe on her painful days she takes 4-6 and then doesn't take them for days in a row. She treated this woman like a drug addict. I can only imagine what she would say to me! I take much more than 20-25 pills a month. Does this mean if someone does an injustice to me, I would not have any rights? I think the plaintiff was so stunned she couldn't think fast enough to defend herself. She shouldn't have had to. She did tell her that she is on the pain meds for an injury from previous domestic violence. Didn't matter to Judy. So many people watch that show and she just reinforced their backward thinking, that there is never any excuse to take pain meds everyday.

I for one am writing a letter to Judge Judy to explain that many people NEED pain meds everyday and that does not make them a "bad" person or a drug addict. Judge Judy has changed this past year. She went from being funny to just being plain mean. I was her number one fan, but her name calling, her telling people to shut-up and her one way thinking has left me cold. Sorry if I have offended any of her fans out there, but this was wrong. The plaintiffs prescribed medication should have had nothing to do with this case. If someone saw this show, and you think I missed a point, please let me know.

Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 03:25
From: Bob [email protected]

I agree 100% -- I saw that show also and was insulted. This would be a great opportunity for ASAP as a whole (with Skip's permission of course) to fight back where there would be media coverage. Whatcha all think????

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 07:18
From: (name not listed yet, pending permission)

Jo,

I AGREE WITH YOU WHOLE HEARTEDLY!!!!!!! I did see that and felt just like you. Heck, I take 50 pills a day. I wonder what she would have thought of me, yet my thinking is clear, and I know when I have been violated, etc. This was totally unfair, and I always loved to watch Judge Judy, like you I am going to write her also. So sad how we constantly get humiliated for having pain, glad you brought this up!!!!!!! Take care and GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 08:19
Mary Webb [email protected]

Hi Skip,

I too was absolutely livid about the Judge Judy show that aired Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2000. She has no insight into folks with chronic pain, or for that matter, folks who take pain meds after surgery or a car accident like the girl on her show. I watch her show faithfully everyday and usually go along with her judgments, but last night she truly showed her stupidity and her lack of compassion. Skip, please let me know how we can write a letter and voice our complaints and maybe teach her about chronic pain.

Thanks in Washington.

From: (name withheld by request)
Date: Tues, 8 Feb 2000 22:06

YES, I did see it and YES I was very angry... I have always liked Judge Judy as well, but she is WAY out of line in a lot of ways. First, what medications she took PRIOR to this incident is irrelevant, and this young lady did NOT have to tell her what she took, in my opinion. I was furious at her reaction! God Forbid any chronic pain patient needs her help someday!

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:50
From: Sue Moskowitz [email protected]

I am writing to express my disgust at comments made by Judge Judy about a woman who as taking pain medication. here are millions of us in this country who must take opiate edication for chronic pain conditions. How dare that woman with no medical knowledge ut down a woman who is in pain? 28 vicodin per month is nothing... As a matter of fact, that is much less than a normal weekly dose for someone in chronic pain. I will be participating in a boycott of Judge Judy's sponsors until she apologizes publicly for humiliating millions of law-abiding Americans who are taking opiate-based medications to survive from daily debilitating pain. We struggle constantly to obtain the pain relief that we need, we don't need a national television celebrity telling us that we are "stoned."

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 14:50
From: Judith L. Tymec [email protected]

Skip, I am sending you a copy of the letter I have sent to many news agencies, both local and national, in an effort to bring some publicity to our pain situation. Here it is:

To Whom It May Concern: My name is Judi and I am a chronic pain patient in Chicago. I am writing to you because I am tired of being discriminated against by doctors, pharmacies, and other medical and non-medical people. Many in my shoes have committed suicide. Thank God I have not gotten to that point, but after dealing with this issue for over many years I could see how many have come to this point.

The last straw for me was the other day, I was watching Judge Judy berate a woman for taking Vicodin without once asking her why she was taking the medication and then cut the lady's judgement in half (in my opinion) only because she was taking this med. Now I know her show is purely for entertainment, but when she makes this pain medication an issue it creates a horrific nightmare for those of us dealing with this on a daily basis.

I have been yelled at by pharmacists, wrongly been accused of being an addict (I have records to prove I'm not) by some doctors, and almost shamed into isolating myself in my home due to my medical problems, and anyone who says the war on drugs is only on the streets has never had to try to get their pain under control, because even with a wonderful doctor's help I still have to fight the stigma of being on strong pain medication. I am on a medication called Kadian, which is time released Morphine, and I still hold down a wonderful part time job, am on PTA, and coach an academic team for my nine year old son.

I am far from being addicted, but the pain meds I am on have allowed me to live, not hole up in a dark room in pain and tears. I and the other million people in pain would like you to look into our plight and please see whether you could help shed some light on our life threatening issues. I have many facts and people willing to help. We need to be heard, or I am afraid others may follow the road to suicide. Thank you for your time and in advance for your efforts to bring this subject to the public.

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Issue #130, 3/24/00 Innocent, Unarmed Man Shot by New York City Drug Unit | National Drug Strategy Released, and Testimony by Eric Sterling | Dump Judge Judy Campaign Growing, Needs Volunteer Monitors, Pain Patients Speak Out | Another Medical Marijuana Bill Goes Before Maryland House Committee | Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Forfeiture Reform Bill, Colombia Aid Package Stalled | Medical Marijuana Patients Begin Northern Florida "Journey For Justice" | Breaking News: UK to Legalize Medical Marijuana | No Hemp for the Masses | High School Anti-Drug Lesson Daringly Different | Link of the Week: "Lost Political Causes" by William F. Buckley | OP-ED: No End in Sight in Los Angeles Police Scandal
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