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Saturday, September 05, 2015
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Published: Sunday, 5/11/2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Middle ground a must in drug crisis

The increase in heroin overdose deaths in Ohio is the result of a crackdown on legal prescription pain pills (“Exploding epidemic,” editorial, April 27). Trading one type of overdose death for another is no solution to the drug problem.

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket legalization. Switzerland’s heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce disease, death, and crime among chronic users.

Providing addicts with standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates the dangers associated with illicit heroin use. The success of the Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable, and spare future generations addiction.

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the pervasive advertising. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

This gateway is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

ROBERT SHARPE

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington

 

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

 

It’s time to gut clean-energy laws

In his May 4 op-ed column, “A test for pols: Keep or gut clean-energy law?”, Blade Editor David Kushma said that “400 advanced-energy companies in Ohio employ more than 25,000 workers,” and that “northwest Ohio has 50 companies in the solar industry.”

Fine, but how many jobs did oil and natural gas projects account for from eastern Ohio shale? Those likely are higher-paying jobs than those created by green energy projects. The Blade has published several articles about solar companies that produced few jobs and eventually closed.

Industry needs massive amounts of electricity. I doubt that solar-generated power can provide the electricity some industries need.

If reducing carbon dioxide emissions to save the planet is our goal, it is folly. The rest of the world is burning fossil fuel and adding to air pollution.

Higher energy costs will make our industries less competitive in the world market and cost jobs, not create jobs.

RAYMOND ELIEFF

Suder Avenue


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