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Considering drug use as a medical problem provides an excuse

To The Daily Sun,
According to E. Scott Cracraft's April 12, column politicians and society need a change in attitude to consider drug addiction a disease. This isn't a change; it's just political correctness intended to help grow government and give progressive politicians more money to fund their special interest supporters.
Cracraft's solution doesn't meaningfully reduce the 40,000-50,000 annual drug related deaths, the millions of drug related crimes, or the billions of dollars spent on the drug problem.
Considering drug use a medical problem provides an excuse, implying it's just an unexpected illness like appendicitis requiring sympathy, medical treatment, and various protections, e.g., in the workplace. But drug use and addiction (with some exceptions) are self-induced problems deserving of the same sympathy that an orphan, who killed his parents, deserves.
The drug problem is one of demand; Cracraft's comments regarding demand are simply more failing progressive claptrap.
Reducing smoking demand was more challenging. Fifty years ago everyone seemed to smoke, users lived productively, and the suffering and deaths seemed unlikely or decades away. Nevertheless, various efforts, including cost increases, restrictions on use, and stigmatization, reduced the percent of the population using tobacco by almost two-thirds in the last 50 years.
Similar actions could reduce demand for illegal drugs. Cut the supply to increase the cost by closing the border and harshly punishing drug dealers. Politicians and society need to adopt the attitude that they must do whatever is necessary to reduce demand for drugs.
Reducing the demand for drugs should be easier than for tobacco, there are fewer users and the adverse consequences, interference with productive lives and/or death, are near term, not decades off.
Why isn't there a total societal effort to reduce the demand for illegal drugs? Why don't public officials condemn drug use and any glorification of drug use in movies, comedy, etc.? Why aren't users stigmatized, e.g., as stupid and disgusting, to detour future potential users? Why isn't there ubiquitous advertising that demonizes drug dealers and users? Why isn't the border closed? Why aren't major drug dealers prosecuted for murder?
Because politicians and special interests are okay with people dying as long as they keep their power.
Americans who want to prevent lives being destroyed by drugs should change their own attitudes and elect politicians who share the attitude that every effort and every tool must be used to eliminate demand for illegal drugs.

Don Ewing
Meredith

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Deep dark secret is this massive fuel consumption is off the books

To The Daily Sun,

From the "Hard to Believe" file: Edward Humes was interviewed on NPR today. He discussed in detail his book, "Door to Door," which covers the wide variety of transportation which delivers goods from one place to another worldwide.

The transportation adds many things not beneficial to our environment. It seems that we pay dearly for having many items transported, then shipped to our homes or stores. Let's use the example of UPS. It ships 15 million packages a day by ground or air or ship. Another company used by millions is Amazon, the mega-company which also ships millions of packages daily. The advantage of course is that we are able to receive our orders overnight, next day, or within a few days of placing the order.

But there is a huge drawback in the cost to planet Earth. Yes, we pay a certain amount for that item we ordered, but there is a tremendous amount of money spent on producing them. Companies then ship these products from one location to another to add "parts." These locations can be from hundreds to thousands of miles away from where these items were originally produced. By the time it reaches us some of these products have "logged" the miles equivalent to a trip around the world.

The negative consequences are many. Shipping adds to traffic congestion on our highways. Burning untold amounts of fuels that pollute our atmosphere. We might say that this is the cost of doing business, but it isn't necessarily a good thing for planet Earth.

Humes's book illustrates the shipping of goods around the world from one country to another. These goods are placed in sealed containers and placed on mega cargo ships. These ships can be as high as a 15-story building. Cargo ships burn one ton of fuel a day. This is not a misprint. It's a ton of the dirtiest fuel produced — the most polluting fuel in the entire world. One hundred and sixty mega ships traveling around the world in any one day burn more of this dirty fuel in one day than all of the cars in the world travel in any one day. These ships continue to burn fuel as they idle near ports while waiting to unload their cargo.

The deep dark secret is that this fuel consumption is done "off the books." This means that these cargo ships who are burning this filthy fuel "doesn't figure into the carbon footprint of the fuels we burn."

Bottom line: any facts and figures published concerning the pollution the earth we all live on are extremely understated. That is a true nightmare.

Bernadette Loesch

Laconia

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