July 6th, 2020

Stiffer penalties needed for dealing opioids

By Letter to the Editor on March 13, 2020.

Re: “Government propaganda targets vulnerable populations,” Jan. 27

Obviously the writer, Corey Ranger, doesn’t like Premier Jason Kenney, columnist Rick Bell or the UCP. What a surprise. That’s your right and I support you in your right to speak as you see fit. I do not support your viewpoint.

You quote Kenney’s “help addicts inject poison” comments and later write “an average of two Albertans die every day at the hands of opioid poisoning.” I trust you to see the irony. Opioid addicts don’t die from too many slurpees. Opioids are poison.

Many have suggested to place the supervised consumption site at the police station. That’s genius. It being there would help build rapport with law enforcement and the community of opioid users. Social workers and others involved would be better protected and therefore happier and more productive. All involved would be better served in the end goal of quitting opioids.

Ranger’s guest column is full of false victimhood and devoid of personal responsibility. Our goal as loving and caring society should be zero opioid overdose deaths in Canada, not the normalization of a debilitating blight that eats people for money.

Your column lacks any mention of opioid dealers – merchants of death. Opioid dealers are mass murderers and should be punished as such.

As cold as this may sound, supervised consumption sites help subsidize the opioid dealers by keeping their customers alive, thereby maximizing the profits of the dealers.

As an advocate, Ranger must be aware of the addicts who have been given the “kiss of life” multiple times. These people need help to kick the habit, not help to feed it.

My social circle includes people touched by opioid abuse, some I love or loved. They either kick the habit or die too young. Drug use isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a “deathstyle.” These are not happy stories.

There are choices, and responsibility for those choices. If we really care we will try to stop people from killing themselves, right?

The penalty for dealing opioids should be as stiff or moreso than for mass murder. Dealers profit daily from the degradation and destruction of other human beings. That’s as low as the slavemaster or pimp who works their charges to death.

Ranger infers the old ways don’t work. I say your new way doesn’t work either, only worse.

So what’s the answer? Let’s start by agreeing zero opioid overdose deaths in Canada is our goal and go from there.

Leath Johnston

Medicine Hat

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3 Responses to “Stiffer penalties needed for dealing opioids”

  1. mr black says:

    “Oh my word Leath, I’ve never read so much drivel in my life. “Opioids are poison” “Opioid dealers are mass murderers” I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at your BS statements.

    How about this one, lets get car manufactures off the streets, they are mass murders. How about this one, lets get ladder manufactures out of bushiness. Or how about this one, lets get rope manufactures out of business.

    You see Leath, they all kill people if caution is not used. Ladders were not invented to kill people, yet every year hundreds if not thousands of people fall off ladders and kill themselves. People hang themselves with rope and car accidents claim thousands every year.

    You see Leath, opiods were not invented to kill people despite what you believe, nor were the manufacturers out to kill people. Opiods help thousands of people every year that rely on them to ease there pain. Just because you and people like you have narrow minds, doesn’t make opiods bad.

    Why don’t you and countless narrow minded folks look at the people that are dying from overdoses, often these people are suffering from mental illness and have abused drugs and alcohol and glue and gasoline and countless other products unhealthy to humans most of their lives.

    So how about removing those blinders that are snugly froze over your eyes and take a look at the bigger picture. Should you narrow minded folks prevail, which is more likely then not, mark my words, those abusers will find another product to abuse and then you and your type will jump on that bandwagon.

    Opiods are not bad, the people abusing them need help. I know several people that depend on opiods to help them live a productive life. Just because people with mental issues abuse them does not give clueless people the right to have them admonished.

    • Les Landry says:

      Mr.Black I do not see where Leath Johnston said anything about opioid manufactures, but then again, I only read the black part.
      I do agree with you that we do not punish car, ladder and rope manufactures. But we most certainly do punish people for taking a car or vehicle and then drive it into a crowd of people. And yes, I am sure someone could be changed with a crime for kicking a ladder out from somebody on it. And while I’ve never heard of any rope manufacture being charged, convicted and imprisoned for making rope. I have heard of a few and too many people that have been convicted of killing by strangling someone with a rope.
      I agree with Leath that “one method” of helping to deal with the addiction issue is to have stiffer sentences for people that are “illegally” selling these products, knowing they are putting people’s lives in danger. If we don’t start dealing with the source at street level we will never see the results we all wish for.

    • Samis1 says:

      Mr. Black, since rope and ladders are good and suicide is bad, how about doing this: Use tax money to buy a supply of ropes and ladders and a place where suicidal people can go to end it all. Then have a health-care worker there to catch them when they jump. This would reduce harm ad save lives.


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