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We really need to decriminalize drug use

Hope my headline grabbed your attention. We need to decriminalize the possession and use of all drugs, Schedule I-V.

Why? Because people are dying, not because of opiates like heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, etc.

They are dying because the commerce in these substances is all done in a black market, where sellers are not concerned with the purity or potency of their product. Heroin addiction doesn’t necessarily mean death to the person with the addiction, but because these drugs are unregulated the user doesn’t know the potency or even if it is the drug they want to be using. These drugs are being laced with fentanyl, or whatever the dealer feels like cutting it with. Addiction has always been with society, but do we need to see needless deaths just to punish substance use?

I don’t think we do.

JOHN E. NORTON III,

Alpena