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.

Deborah Harlow

Santa Fe

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.

David Douglas

Santa Fe

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.

Thomas Nichols

Santa Fe

(3) comments

Khal Spencer

The War on Drugs has been an abject failure. Aside from mass incarceration, we had 90,000 drug OD deaths last year. But I don't know if legalization and providing "legal"heroin will be a whole lot better, other than not putting as many people in jail and providing some competition to the drug cartels.

Let's face it. For a lot of people, taking the Daily Brain Eraser is easier than real life. How do we change the disease rather than concentrating on the symptoms? Or do we just get into that Brave New World where anyone who wants it gets government-provided Soma. Maybe that's easier than fixing all the things that are broken.

Stefanie Beninato

WOW! Heroin being "relatively benign"? What does that mean? Is it not highly addictive leaving the person craving more as soon as they get over their "low"?

And Mr Nichols--yes under departments it can be hard to find actual contact info for city employees but the drop down menu gives you the option to click on "elected officials"....

rodney carswell

Mr. Nichols, out of curiosity (and nothing better to do...), I Googled "city of Santa Fe city council contact information", and a link to the page with all info for the City elected officials came up as the very first listing in the Google machine. Not sure what the problem was; perhaps the home page is cluttered with too many other departments, programs and contacts. https://www.santafenm.gov/elected_officials

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