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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Actress Brittany Murphy dies at 32; Is there a drug war connection?

220px-Brittany_Murphy The Associated Press is reporting this evening that actress Brittany Murphy has died:

Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit "Clueless" and rose to stardom in "8 Mile," died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 32.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Spokeswoman Sally Stewart said Murphy died at 10:04 a.m. She would not provide a cause of death or any other information.

There is wide speculation in the blogosphere that Murphy’s death may be drug related, given her young age and general good health:

Associated Content reported that there are rumors of possible cocaine drug use with a combination of an eating disorder as possible cause of death factors.

However, Murphy is reported to have had diabetes, which could explain her heart attack:

This could be an extremely important clue as recent studies have shown a clear link between diabetes and an increased risk of health [sic] disease and heart attack.

In fact, according to a study released last year, adults being treated for diabetes are just as likely to have a heart attack or stroke or die from cardiovascular causes as people who have had a prior heart attack. The same study also revealed that diabetics are perhaps twice as likely as non-diabetics to die following a heart attack.

Monday’s scheduled autopsy will tell the full story, but if drugs were an aggravating factor, there may be a lesson here, other than the obvious: “Just say ‘no’”.

The war on drugs drives drug users into the shadows. Drug users are treated as criminals, and respond as such, keeping all aspects of their addictions secret. This often makes it harder to identify and treat addicts – and prohibition puts addicts at a higher level of risk of overdosing due to contaminated products and irregular potency.

Whatever the autopsy and other facts eventually reveal, this a tragic loss of a talented, young life.

(Picture: Brittany Murphy)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on December 20, 2009 | Permalink


Oh riiiiiiiight SAFER drugs are better.

Just for that, the persecution of druggies ought to be doubled. The longer you people are off the streets and in jail, the better off the population will be. You people deserve to be treated like child molesters.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-20 8:22:33 PM

I can always count on you to kick things off, Zeb.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-12-20 8:33:21 PM

I had no doubt the troll would be the first one to post on this, and he didn't fail me today.
I don't mean to hurt any ones feelings, but this post is bunk. It really should have been two different posts, at least until the autopsy is done. Its tragic that someone should die at such a young age. Even more tragic if that person is an entertainer. Hate to see talent go so soon. Any way, I, obviously, am behind your argument 100%, but I think you jumped the gun here.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-20 8:33:49 PM

ok, maybe not. I re-read the article, and I guess I judged a bit harsh. Forgiveness please :)

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-20 8:37:50 PM

No need to apologize, Steve. Your comment is a fair one. We should not jump to conclusions, especially given Murphy's diabetes.

All is forgiven. :-)

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-12-20 8:47:18 PM

an adult who voluntarily buys a product from another adult is akin to a child molester?

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-20 8:50:54 PM

Don't look for logic, shel.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-12-20 8:56:46 PM

i know Matthew, but reading Zeb's comments, i marvel.

he has a gift.

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-20 9:12:37 PM

Rest in Peace Brittany Murphy, you gave me many hours of excellent entertainment and I will miss you.

Young people do die of heart attacks.
Brittany's mom found her dead in the shower.
Did she slip?
Did her heart beat arrhythmically because of temperature shock?

I once knew a beautiful girl who had a hole in her heart and no one knew it until she became pregnant.

Posted by: Speller | 2009-12-20 9:34:31 PM

Oh, this is so sad. So, so young. My mom and I both loved her in Clueless.

Posted by: If I Ain’t Got You | 2009-12-20 11:33:40 PM

I noticed that the first post on this subject was about increaing sentancing for drug users and dealers . i wonder if he will support those type of sentences for the CIA agents who have been bringing this stuff into the country for over 40 yrs .And i am sure he wont mind when one of his family members is killed by a cartel member that the WOD's helps protect. and he certainly should not mind when one of his kids are killed by overzelous steroid taking narcotics officers raiding the wrong address ..Drugs are cheaper stronger and more aval than ever before and this will never change until we end the war on drugs

Posted by: woodbutcher | 2009-12-21 3:13:14 AM

So sad to hear it. Loved her film in Love and Other Disasters.

Posted by: leoabetas | 2009-12-21 8:01:05 AM

No, any law enforcement and government officials involved in persecuting druggies will be honored with medals and public monuments like streets and schools. In fact there should be a monthly cash award to the police officer who arrests the most druggies and gets them off our streets. It is the least we the people can do for the heroes who protect us from the drug menace.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-21 8:48:42 AM

Matthew sorry dude, but there is no safe use of cocaine. It kills-plain and simple. If you think otherwise you are simply wrong.
Her death is indeed tragic, she was a funny, bright and pretty girl.

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2009-12-21 10:41:29 AM

Merle, I agree that cocaine is not safe. I also believe it is made even less safe due to prohibition, the same way that alcohol was less safe during prohibition.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-12-21 10:51:38 AM

Think about it Zeb. If we locked up every illegal drug user... Non violent people are going to feel prosecuted for something that is their personal choice. That will infuriate them just before their imprisoned in detention centers that have many people whom feel the same way. These people form what is known as a Gang, just like the UN and Red Scorpions who are currently running a muck in BC, they were originally formed in detention centers. If anything your idea of locking up every drug user will only breed violent criminal enterprises faster then current, how in your mind is this going to protect society as a whole?

Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-21 11:00:15 AM

bad news


Posted by: simi | 2009-12-21 12:23:02 PM


Posted by: r | 2009-12-21 12:35:55 PM

Cocaine kills like aspirin does. How many people really die every year due to cocaine use? I'm sure if the number was substantial, it would be trumpeted in every news outlet. The fact is, it is not a killer the way the government says it is. Yes, it is addictive, but again, not as bad as government tells you. Yes, you can put yourself in a bad position if you use it to much, or to often. But the key word here is "yourself".
And if it was a controlled substance you could get help with the problem with out the stigma. But because it may lead to jail time, chances are you won't call the cops. Besides the cops are more likely to kill you than the drugs anyway (being a bit facetious here, but it is a reality you may have to deal with if you call the trigger happy cops) For years I was blind to what government does to society (these are 2 different things you know). I went about my life blissfully unaware. In the last few years my eyes have opened. And it ain't pretty out there. Hypocrisy and greed is the order of the day. On just about every issue.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-21 1:24:30 PM

I actually knew somebody who seemed to be totally healthy, then died suddenly from a brain aneurysm.. it sounds like a similar thing happened with Brittany Murphy

Posted by: Psoriatic | 2009-12-21 7:36:50 PM

I'm getting a little tired of all this racial profiling. Just because she's Irish, everyone assumes she was drunk, or stoned. We're not all whisky swilling hooligans.

Posted by: dp | 2009-12-21 7:52:51 PM

dp: I didn't see any racial profiling here. Her ancestry in fact is half-Irish American (mothers - she uses her mother's name as her stage name) and half-Italian American. No wonder she was so gorgeous! :) She was born in Georgia, raised in New Jersey and lived in California - any of those three could have had something to do with it. Or maybe not. Lifestyle is a more important factor than ancestry or environment.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-21 8:03:53 PM

Just because she's Irish, everyone assumes she was drunk, or stoned. We're not all whisky swilling hooligans.
Posted by: dp | 2009-12-21 7:52:51 PM

Her actual name is Brittany Bertolotti.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-12-21 8:10:02 PM

No wonder she was so gorgeous! :)
Posted by: the black racist Zebulon Punk | 2009-12-21 8:03:53 PM

Gorgeous? Not only is Da Punk an asshole he's also blind. Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer and Karen Mulder are gorgeous. Murphy wasn't. But then Da Punk thinks Oprah Winfry is gorgeous.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-12-21 8:26:26 PM

I'm pretty sure dp was kidding, Zeb.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-12-21 8:31:34 PM

Didn't Heidi Klum marry Seal, a man of African descent??? To Stig, she's a race traitor, miscegenation with a "lower species." Typical of white Toronto. Repeat after me: black is beautiful.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-21 8:36:14 PM

Didn't Heidi Klum marry Seal,
Posted by: the black racist Zebulon Punk | 2009-12-21 8:36:14 PM

Unlike you I couldn't care less who she married.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-12-21 8:42:56 PM

A young woman is dead. A family is mourning. So, of course, Matt Johnston wants to promote his pro-drug legalization. You are a real class act! Hey Matt, do you attend funerals and tell the grieving family members that their dead grandmother would have been far better off if they legalized euthanasia? Your family should be "real proud" of your behavior.

Posted by: Jason | 2009-12-21 9:41:16 PM

In society today adults have to make millions of important decisions, a lot of which can have a drastic effect on their lives, even death. We are responsible for our choices, and we suffer and prosper from our choices, it’s what makes each individual who they ultimately become. This is called freedom of choice, ownership of ones self. We are legally allowed to make these choices everyday, including many that can be instantly fatal such as riding recreational dirt bikes for the thrill of it, even though it could cost us our lives, its our choice to make.

By trying to force people into not consuming a natural plant we are effectively causing more harm than if we were to let each adult make their own choices and except the consequences for those choices. The harm prohibition has brought to not just our own country, but the vast majority of the world is on a remarkably large scale, and threatens our national security. By choosing to prohibit this substance, we have chosen to ignore it and to let it be controlled by the black market. This in turn has enriched criminal enterprises to the point they have the financial power to compete with their own governments on a military bases as seen in Mexico. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and is impossible to overdoes on, and the majority of citizens know this, this in turn creates disrespect for law enforcement thereby furthering the deterioration of our community as a whole. It is inhumane to lock a person in a cage and take away their belongings they worked for when they did nothing to harm any other individual or society. Current marijuana laws are a civil rights nightmare waiting to happen, and only makes marijuana readily available to anyone of any age. The laws are obviously bad, expensive and unyielding in accomplishments. We spend billions each year to try and stop marijuana consumption, and yet the DEA admits they would be surprised if they are even getting 1% of the drugs being transported. That’s a bad investment, and the majorities do not agree with it, and there is no justification for making marijuana illegal in the first place.

Prohibition is bad for our kids as they have complete access to it as long as its being controlled by the black market, what we need is control and regulation to minimize the exposure of drugs to young children. As long as it is illegal or decriminalized there will be a black market selling it at a marked up value because of risk, and all the harm will continue.

By legalizing marijuana we are effectively controlling its distribution, and can much better regulate its use by age limits.

Simply put, it’s a real no brainer and it will eventually happen, so if it’s not working now, and has the potential to be better why would we stay put?

Let’s not continue to turn regular tax paying citizens into tax burdens for the rest of us,
there comes a time when you have to realize a bad investment is a bad investment.

Please help us do the right thing, listen to the people of California who have bravely stood up for a positive change in our society, drugs may not bee good for us, but prohibition has proven far worse.

Posted by: Cindy | 2009-12-22 5:00:21 PM

"By legalizing marijuana we are effectively controlling its distribution, and can much better regulate its use by age limits."

Lie. That system only works if the government controls the entire distribution chain. I find it difficult to believe that druggies would be willing to buy from the thing they distrust the most. Imagine state retailers being guarded by cops using cameras to put "customers" under video surveillance. That information goes into their files for future use. Get a DUI or other minor offense, and you'll be punished more. It would deny gainful employment and worsen many lives. Moreover, any private production would be severely punished, just like moonshining was.

In other words, "legalization" is a myth. Drug abuse is a serious problem and it must be stopped. We can save the small ones but the big ones like Emery must be put down mercilessly. When will you people learn that drugs are for losers?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-22 5:09:02 PM

"That system only works if the government controls the entire distribution chain."

I'm starting to think you've smoked one too many joints in your life Pike ...

Posted by: Charles | 2009-12-23 8:15:20 AM

Oh its so sad blah blah blah, what a loss blah blah blah

People who make actual contributions die every single day, and you all have nothing to say on their behalf. Could the lot of you be anymore shallow? Who cares if some boot actress slowly killed herself with prescription drugs?
What were her measurable contribution in regards to anything?
Brittany f'n who, the more like her, the better off the earth is, and that includes Zebulon Douche.

Posted by: Who Cares | 2009-12-23 10:20:06 AM

A young woman is dead. A family is mourning. So, of course, Matt Johnston wants to promote his pro-drug legalization. You are a real class act! Hey Matt, do you attend funerals and tell the grieving family members that their dead grandmother would have been far better off if they legalized euthanasia? Your family should be "real proud" of your behavior.

Posted by: chicago workers compensation attorney | 2010-01-10 11:01:02 AM

The drug war puts addicts and casual users in danger beyond the normal risks associated with drug use. Am I proud to take every opportunity -- even as someone who does not use drugs -- to make this point? Absolutely, "chicago....attorney" and "Jason".

I would take no pride in ignoring this public policy failure and the toll it takes on human life.

As I wrote before, whatever the autopsy and other facts eventually reveal, this a tragic loss of a talented, young life.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2010-01-10 12:26:01 PM

Is Brittany Murphy a diabetic? For more info please visit

Posted by: alfred | 2010-02-23 4:15:55 AM

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