Drug laws should not be eliminated – Chicago Sun-Times

Making addictive drugs available with no restrictions will only increase addiction and abuse, a former FDA administrator says.
Mark Lennihan, AP Photos
Steve Stefani’s commentary in the Oct. 12 edition of the Sun-Times is misdirected and counterproductive. His argument seems to be: The laws making addictive drugs illegal should be terminated.
People addicted to drugs do need treatment, but people selling illegal drugs that cause addiction need a meaningful deterrent and laws stop the behavior that leads to drug addiction and overdose deaths of 107,000 in 2021, nearly 300 per day.
The cause of this all-time high rate of drug overdose deaths is not drug laws but the lack of focus on China and Mexico, sources of the fentanyl; wide-spread smuggling of fentanyl over our border with Mexico, some of which is brought over by immigrants; the unwillingness of the Biden administration to enforce our immigration law; and the decisions by prosecutors in our big cities to release drug dealers back on the street after arrest.
We lack the messaging that we heard from Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan and media about the real dangers of drug addiction. Making addictive drugs available with no restrictions will only enable and increase addiction and abuse.
Highlighting the importance of treatment is essential. The drug laws permit referrals to treatment for users — not dealers. The idea that we do not need laws that deter illegal drug sales is like eliminating speed limits on our highways.
Peter Bensinger, former administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
With gas sitting around $5 per gallon, I wouldn’t drive from Streamwood to Soldier Field to see a game even if I had free front row seats.The Bears are 2-4, but it feels like they are already 2-15.
Thursday night in prime time, they confirmed what most of us already knew: They are a fundamentally broken, scarcely even professional football team.The Washington Commanders are not the Green Bay Packers, nor are they the Kansas City Chiefs.
This was a game we should have won, but gave away due to a combination of bad play calling and worse execution, specifically on special teams.What a shocker.
By the end of the game I was drunk, but nowhere near drunk enough to get the putrid taste out of my mouth as time expired.The Bears are the Malört of the NFL.There will always be a cult following of madmen who love it and extol its qualities despite how awful it clearly is, leaving their concerned loved ones to question their sanity, year in and year out.
Ian Zulick, Streamwood
To celebrate Head Start Awareness Month this October, I would like to invite people to learn more about and support Head Start’s significant work in early childhood development and education.
During my early years, a change in our family dynamics disrupted my mother’s child care option. As a result, I was enrolled in a Head Start program in Chicago, where they provided me with a safe, educational environment without adding financial strain. I am grateful Head Start was an available option for my mom.
It turned out to be a good decision for both of us. Today, I am a founding designer and vice president of product design in a financial health company, and my mother enjoys a successful career as a human resources executive. Head Start builds relationships with communities, one family at a time, by investing in our most precious resource: children.
Programs like the one I attended are critical to family stability and financial wellness. I’m thankful Head Start was there for my mom and me when we needed it.
Alex Orozco, Chicago


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