Our politics are making us sick


The recent difficulties of Rep. Kennedy in Washington highlight, it seems to me, the utter folly of continuing to criminalize substance abuse in this country. One does not object to Kennedy’s success in having his problem handled medically; the tragedy is that most people cannot, and are treated as criminals instead.

I have a medical background, and in concert with experts in the field, I hold substance abuse to be a grave public health crisis – perhaps the gravest in our history.

In a presentation before the Library of Congress during World War II, Thomas Mann observed that in the final analysis, all dis-ease can be traced to the deprivation of liberty. The ultimate resolution to the crisis of substance abuse may thus be political: the restoration of democracy to the public square and equity to the tax codes.

We are sick because our democracy is sick, and we will not be well again until it is well again.

Paul Corrao, Auburn