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For U.S., drugs more deadly than terrorism

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform holds a hearing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to examine the opioid epidemic and the recommendations of President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun video)

Terrorism around the world has risen to unbelievable levels with a reported 25,621 deaths in 2016. Most of those deaths have occurred outside of the United States, and we have deployed tens of thousands of our military overseas to keep our country safe. Most agree with using our military resources to contain this threat. What if the deaths increased to 59,000 or more and all of those deaths were right here in America. What would we do? Well, that happened in 2016, but the cause of those deaths was not labeled terrorism but as drug overdoses. So it seems we are willing to support a war against terrorists anywhere but here (“Harford’s opioid epidemic far worse than a year ago,” Nov. 30).

The terrorists here are not the suicide bombers or knife-wielding zealots but the drug dealers from the lowest level dealers to the very top suppliers they are terrorists all. We will never cure the drug problem until we treat those that are responsible as terrorists, more dangerous than ISIS. We cannot continue to refer to any drug dealer as a non-violent criminal. Maybe they have not killed anyone directly, but the drugs they are distributing are killing and injuring thousands. We can no longer try to justify their actions by saying they are just poor people trying to get by. We can no longer turn a blind eye to a neighbor or even a relative who is selling this poison which kills more than twice those killed by all of the terrorist acts in the entire world.

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We have to insist our government declare a real war on the drug distribution network and do whatever is necessary to stop it. This cannot be just a meaningless statement but an all-in war with real federal penalties and not the slap on the wrists that are all too common.

Tim Colmus, Baltimore

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