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Letter: Our drug problem

I hope its not too late to compliment The Recorder and Chris Curtis for the great series on the major drug crisis in Greenfield. Yes, it runs through all our lives now, regardless of class or race. I live on School Street, in one of those back-lot houses chopped into small apartments that are common in town. Twice in the past year, I’ve seen overdosed young people taken out of the building where I live. The crux of the problem was a young couple, with a toddler — a family with at least some middle-class ties. They were the middle men, but they would never meet your eye and always used the side door. Other people ran the coke or heroin out to the cars.

At times, variously, I confronted the “runners”— always noting there was a baby’s life in the midst of their selfish actions. I called the police, left messages for narcotics detectives, talked to neighbors, the landlord several times. Results varied, but generally the problem returned. And the hard drug problem is endemic in this town.

I’m a big believer in civil liberties. But here’s the rub: What I most object to is the selfishness that drug use ultimately engenders. Addiction or no, recreational use or no — people die in the process of these drugs being transported into our towns. Just look to Mexico, where heroin must be trucked across the border. There, enough innocent people have died over the last decade due to drug cartel violence to fill every seat in Fenway Park. Here on School Street, a tiny child has been growing up with parents hardly fit to conduct themselves in civil society.

But there’s another piece here, too. Where is local government? State government? I look around town and I see young people without jobs, middle-age people not working. We used to tackle these problems as a society. After the last economic downturn, the only things to really expand here were all the local banks. What does that tell you? We are a microcosm of bigger cities and towns. When corporate leaders now take home something like 400 times the salary of the average worker, it’s no wonder this kind of greed leaves nothing in its wake — no jobs, and a fraying civil society.



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