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Maine’s ‘War on Drugs’ Requires Solutions and Simultaneous Cooperation Not Politics

Photo, Mario Tama, Getty Images

Generally speaking, solutions are found in common interest and a tenacious commitment to solve a problem.

Unfortunately, when every problem is viewed through lenses clouded by political ideology, precious little gets accomplished.

One of the biggest problems facing the state of Maine is drug addiction, and the costs to the state, both financial and human.

Earlier this week however, when Governor LePage announced his plan to increase the number of drug agents and prosecutors dedicated to the effort, he was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and political foes, suggesting the Governor should prioritize funding for diversion and drug treatment programs instead of more law enforcement.

Director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Roy McKinney says while treatment is clearly necessary, Maine’s war on drug won’t be successful if the state takes an “either/or” approach.

“Are we just going to let drug dealers come into the state and establish their markets?” questions McKinney, who goes on to say law enforcement control is necessary to take traffickers off the street and show them Maine is not an easy target.

Treatment providers also recognize the drug crisis in Maine can not be handled as an “either/or” priority.

Executive Director of Open Door Recovery in Ellsworth, Barbara Royal, says the problem needs to be dealt with through cooperation in order to be successful.

Unfortunately, money is always part of the solution, and that’s hard to come by these days in Augusta, so thoughtful and productive time needs to be invested by state lawmakers to achieve lasting results.

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