Wonderful piece. It's encouraging to see the mobilization of concerned, thoughtful and directly affected people coming together to demand action with the California Peace Coalition. The idea of Cal-Psych is excellent. An aspect of this problem I think may be useful to look into and incorporate is the burden put on local health care and social service systems as a result of increasingly ineffective and/or hands-off approach to drug intervention. I worked for a few years as an Emergency Room Health Education Specialist under the SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) program (my colleagues worked in affiliated primary care clinics). We would screen patients to assess their level of substance use, risk and willingness to change and provide resources and referrals as necessary and appropriate. Being in the emergency department, I was constantly heartbroken seeing, truly, how many patients were struggling with alcohol and drugs. Additionally, it was astounding to see how many emergency room beds were occupied, at any given time, as a result of substances either directly (overdose, infection/abscess, withdrawal, wash-out, etc.) or indirectly (drug-use effect on co-morbidities, injury, frost-bite, assault, robbery, arrest, drug-induced psychosis, suicide ideation/attempt, etc.).

CoVid-19 has created more public awareness and discussion around the capacity, burden and breaking points of the health care system(s). The drug epidemic can and should be framed in a similar way, at the very least to reach those who claim the problem should be handled by the will of users, families and charitable actors alone. Additionally, I think both political "tribes" can agree on the massive economic and societal costs of this crisis. Alcohol and drug misuse in US was estimated at $373 billion in 2011 (less than 5% of cost related to Prevention and Treatment). The majority of costs are societal (lost productivity, crime, property destruction, waste, intergenerational poverty, etc.).

I consider myself a humanitarian; despite my best attempts at a younger, more impressionable, age to understand and adopt the latest "woke" methods of social work - I could no longer in good faith claim they were the best way to save lives and empower vulnerable communities. Additionally, as the child of parents with addictions - I can tell you that many in my shoes would prefer seeing parents behind bars over having them missing, running with criminals, near-death in a hospital bed or dead. Many children and families of addicts are ashamed to admit we've prayed for the arrest of our loved-one because we knew it might prevent another bender, injury or crime. I am among the many children of addicts who have, out of absolute terror and desperation, called the police on my parents.

I’d think the logic that drug-dealers are entirely victims of an unjust environment should necessitate that we prioritize the protection of innocent children who, at present, are growing up in crime/camp neighborhoods who are regularly exposed to the sight of drugs, gangs, overdoses, and death. Moreover, this problem isn’t confined to cities. I now live in a suburb of Austin, TX. On my early morning runs, I find the park trashcan and restroom area, only several feet away from the playground, sometimes littered with needles, condoms and soiled clothing from camps that are in the "park" (a lightly wooded area that separates different neighborhoods.) This is a fiercely progressive suburban district, nearly every home has a lawn sign to signal so, and I see the cognitive dissidence in local parents who are teaching their children to be “kind” (arguably enabling) to those experiencing hardship, while also protecting them from risks. As far as I can tell, the park camp and associated waste is tolerated. Thus, the campers have priority over the park, not the community or local children who may have otherwise played free from biological waste.

The rest of the country is watching CA. Thank you for being a voice of reason and leader on this, among other crucial matters. I look forward to the upcoming book.

P.S. What need to be done to get you on Rogan? Not the most serious venue, but certainly an audience hungry for new ideas.

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The false piousness of the Left, in which every political position is calculated based on performative value, is quickly killing the California dream.

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It might be considered Anti-Woke if Minority Dealers from Central America are prosecuted? Tough Medicine for tough problem. Political Corruption and Mail in Ballot Corruption ensures a Newsom re-election? Maybe not? but if Newsom is survives recall then == "They're Letting Fentanyl Kill Kids Is Because They Think Drug Dealers Are The Real Victims" Will continue.

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