Blog: A Sincere Effort To Ease Our Drug Epidemic

Governor Rick Snyder was in Escanaba today, and he took part in a round table discussion on the growing drug problem in our state. There have always been drugs in our society, of various types, of various strengths, of various levels of legality. But what is happening now is just plain terrible, and I don’t know if there really is a solution.

It isn’t just “bad people” who are getting hooked. The so-called “good people” might start small, then work their way up the ladder, so to speak. And there are so many lives being ruined that it is beyond sad.

It’s pills. It’s booze. And especially, hereSnyder in the Upper Peninsula, it’s meth.

I sat and listened to law enforcement officials talk about ways to battle the problem today. They are trying their hardest to come up with ways to help people. The governor is. State police are. No, they don’t enjoy busting people. Every state trooper I know would rather have other things to investigate than to constantly deal with the results of addiction.

The Angel Program is a good one. Escanaba Public Safety should be commended for starting it here, and other communities across Michigan are giving it a try. Let people turn themselves in, and get treatment, rather than jail. Why not? Nothing else we’ve tried works. Legalize it all? Well, ok. Then let’s legalize everything then.

I could tell that the governor was irritated when he was told that people WITH health insurance have a harder time of getting their treatment paid for than do people WITHOUT insurance. He promised to look into that, and quickly.

These were all people of good will in that room this morning. I hope that some how, some way, they can come up with the right combination that helps people who want help to get it, and those who don’t, to be punished for it.

—later, Jack