LePage’s veto of the Narcan bill is a continuation of the ignorant treatment of addicts as pariahs, rather than those with an illness deserving of interventions that work, separating them from society, to have different standards and benefits, just like so many he deems undeserving of thoughtful care.

His irresponsible decision reinforces his naive and dangerous habit of practicing medicine without a license rather than deferring to the majority of evidence and testimony to the contrary.

Yes, he has the power to exercise a veto. But, he has the responsibility to all citizens to make that decision with care and evidence — not based on personal evaluations ignorant of the facts while resorting to a pat response with no basis in reality, such as when he says Narcan provide an easy “out” while using drugs.

To the casual user, like my son, with the arrogance of youth denying even the possibility of an overdose, Narcan would not have been in his backpack. But it could have been in mine, his father’s, his friends, the neighbors, etc.

I urge lawmakers who hold a blind allegiance to this administration to not go down with this sinking ship. Consider the will of the people and the facts.

But, most importantly, consider those in our midst, citizens like us all, who deserve our help. That is their duty.

Olivia Atherton


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