Letters to the Editor

DRUGS: Treat addiction as a health problem

I’m a medical marijuana card-carrying disabled person. I suffer from a pulled tendon in my knee; carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands; tendonitis in both elbows; stenosis; and arthritis in both shoulders, knees and hips. I’ve been given three choices: several surgeries, go to pain management or suffer using either over-the-counter or no meds.

An estimated 100 million chronic pain sufferers reside in America. That’s more people than those with cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined.

Recent media reports tell stories of pain sufferers turning towards street drugs because they are cheaper and more easily obtained than prescription painkillers. Pain sufferers are risking further damage to their health.

How can the Legislature and Drug Enforcement Administration dictate to 100 million people and their doctors how to run their lives? We are treating our drug problem by criminalizing people for what should be treated as a health problem.

William O’Toole

Gig Harbor