It's time to end the Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

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Governor Wolf:

Your solution to the Opioid Crisis is failing. 

Let the facts be submitted to a candid world: Every two and a half hours, another Pennsylvanian dies because of your policies.  Other states and nations have taken a very different and more compassionate course by ending state-sponsored persecution such as Pennsylvania’s, and have dramatically reduced drug deaths and avoided the staggering cost to Society in terms of dollars wasted and lost human potential, including Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. 

Pennsylvania must not rely on ineffective, short-term solutions that expire in a too-short 90 days and only address the symptoms instead of the cause, but rather by doing what is necessary to protect the people of Pennsylvania by immediately ending your insane War on Drugs.

Petition to End the Opioid Crisis

WHEREAS drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in America [1] and at least ten Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose, with over 3,500 overdose deaths annually in Pennsylvania[2]; and

WHEREAS virtually all opioid overdose deaths are accidental rather than suicides[3]; and

WHEREAS the root cause of most accidental opioid deaths is ignorance, stemming from either a lack of knowledge of the danger of combining opioids with other, commonly-available drugs or from the total absence of quality control leading to ingesting stronger-than-expected street drugs[4]; and

WHEREAS the drug laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania explicitly created this situation by fostering a black market for drugs, not only regarding opioids, but also for many other addictive and non-addictive prescription and recreational drugs, and

WHEREAS users of opioids and other drugs are therefore treated as criminals to be jailed and not as fellow human beings to be helped; and

WHEREAS FURTHER the drug laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are racist, given that recent federal data show that more than 80 percent of those who are convicted for heroin trafficking are either black or Latino, even though whites use opioids at higher rates than other groups and tend to buy drugs from individuals within their racial group[5];

THEREFORE, we the undersigned call upon Governor Wolf, the Pennsylvania Senate and General Assembly, and all caring people to immediately end their ill-conceived, racist “War on Drugs”, in the short term by pardoning, exonerating, and/or commuting the sentences of all non-violent Drug War prisoners, and in the long term by repealing the heartless, life-destroying laws that have inadvertently fueled the accidental deaths of yet another Pennsylvanian every two and a half hours.

The Carnage Must Stop.  The Insane War on Drugs Must Stop.  Enough is Enough!

 

 

Footnotes:

[1]        asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf?sfvrsn=100c76c2_12#search=%222016%20facts%22

[2]        pa.gov/guides/opioid-epidemic/

[3]        mass.gov/files/documents/2017/08/31/data-brief-overdose-deaths-may-2017.pdf

[4,5] scientificamerican.com/article/people-are-dying-because-of-ignorance-not-because-of-opioids/



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