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Mitchell County Attorney Mark Walk is suing the manufacturers of opioids. But this approach to fighting this scourge amounts to the same thing as blaming farmers for obesity.

The Harrison Act banned opiates and cocaine in 1914. That is 103 years ago. What do we have to show for it? We have increasing overdose deaths. We have gang violence the same as the prohibition days of the 1920s. We have a general disrespect for the law and law enforcement expense to match. And we have the anguish inflicted on the addict's loved ones.

The problem is worse than ever. The simplistic notion that government control will solve this problem is childish nonsense. Someone show me one person who quit dope because they couldn't get it.

It is government's replacement of personal responsibility that causes people to choose feeling good for the immediate future instead of a happy and productive life.

In 2001, Portugal legalized all drugs. Every single negative statistic declined. HIV infections in drug users fell 17 percent. Narcotic-related deaths were cut by more than half. Money saved in law enforcement has been used in treatment.

A question we should be asking ourselves is this: Do we really want to reduce the misery caused by drug abuse, or are we satisfied with politicians posturing as saints when they obviously are simply litigation-crazed opportunists?

Drug companies and people in pain should not suffer because of failed government policy.

Fritz Groszkruger, Dumont

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