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Editor:

In reference to Kathleen Moore's Sunday (July 8) choice article on drug rehab, well written and received. However, not a mention on the wide criminally involved in the expanding illegal drug addiction chaos.

Providing an opiate, amphetamine, cocaine product to another person is a crime in all state and federal statutes. A crime is an unjust and senseless act and should be punished by life-changing penalties.

There is a problem after conviction with very mild and liberal punishments, too many after plea bargains. Very short prison sentences followed by probation that contain all the social service benefits and free college offered. There is a deep need for changes here.

Our brave state and local police are well-equipped and trained for overdose service with Narcan. Every police car and office is supplied with hundreds of dollars in value of Narcan. It should be noted that not an emergency product for stroke, heart attack, asthma, etc. is available by the same police service. Some non-inequity there.

Our tax funds are being provided for all of the above, and the amounts are expanding daily. Many roads are in need of major rebuilding and our senior health care is not improving and their total costs are expanding. Addicted patients are enduring serious and costly health problems, including hepatitis and heart damage.

There are very vocal individuals and organizations within our society who sincerely believe that criminal drug activity is a nonviolent crime. Good luck with this perverted belief.

William V. Hastings, Hadley

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