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Just say no

October 18, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

Rep. Tom Marino, of Pennsylvania's 10th District, was recently nominated by President Donald Trump as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also known by the euphemism, "drug czar." As a registered voter in Florida, I object to this nomination.

In 2015, 3,896 Floridians died from the direct effects of prescription opioid drugs. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, opioids account for 67 percent of all drug related deaths. More people die from opioid overdoses than those who die from fatal car crashes at 2,939, based on data from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. One does not have to search hard to see the profound effects these horrible drugs have on our communities. The death rate from these drugs has increased exponentially since 2003, with no end in sight. To say we are in a crisis would be an understatement.

Given the overwhelming data, there should be more legal crackdowns on the pharmaceutical companies who wantonly distribute the deadly drugs into our communities. Instead, in 2016, a law was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate that loosened these laws. Who was the primary sponsor of this legislation? Rep. Marino was.

Rep. Marino clearly does not understand what needs to be done to tackle the biggest health crisis we face as a nation, and it is no wonder. According to Open Secrets, Marino received 17.3 percent of his campaign contributions, through individuals and PACs from the health care sector. He is bought and paid for by the very industry he will be required to regulate.

According to 21 U.S. Code 1703, "The Director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the President." I am asking that you advise the president that Marino is ill-equipped for the job, and not give your consent. Please, vote no.

Thomas Pound

Cape Coral



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