Regarding the heartbreaking article (“U.S. overdose deaths in 2020 hit 93K,” July 15): After 50 years of the war on drugs, with billions spent by the U.S. on military aid and political intervention causing untold violence in other countries, and death and mass incarceration in our own, this is the result. Maybe we need to look at a more effective and humane solution. Did we learn nothing from the prohibition of alcohol?
Decriminalize heroin so the quality and distribution can be regulated. Then consumers would know the strength they are buying. Decriminalization would also prevent illegal manufacturers and dealers from contaminating the product with other toxic substances. Heroin is a fairly benign substance on its own. The monster has been created by relegating it to the black market. Decriminalization would take the profit out of it. Would it be better if no one felt the need to soothe their pain with heroin? Of course. But until we can find that better world, please, let’s find a better way.
In it together
Thank you for your thoughtful, and aptly titled, editorial (“Vaccine resistance puts everyone at risk,” Our View, July 16). Those opposed to vaccines who contract COVID-19 jeopardize not just the unvaccinated around them but health care workers who care for them. People swayed by vaccine misinformation on social media — two-thirds of which evidently traces back to postings by just 12 individuals — undermine the public health of all.
The U.S. could never have eradicated polio had the rhetoric of “government overreach” spun by today’s right-wing TV and radio dominated the 1950s. In a week when American cases of COVID-19 reached 34 million with 608,000 deaths, polls show Republicans more likely than Democrats to remain unvaccinated by a 7-to-1 margin. It’s past time to fight the virus, not each other. More Republicans should remember what they once knew as well as Democrats: When it comes to public health, we’re all in this together.
Hard to find
The city of Santa Fe’s official website has turned into a snipe hunt when it comes to just getting contact information for the very people we elect to represent us. After putting everything in the search engine, the most I got was past City Council meeting short versions.
I did see a nice blue box with “transparency” written over what I took to be a sunburst. I would have clicked on it, but everything under it might have been invisible. The city’s information technology department should be instructed to make one of the blue squares have city councilors’ contact information under it or fix the contact information to where Mr. Einstein wouldn’t have to figure the law of relativity to find it if he were still living.