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Rep. Tom Marino had help in preventing the DEA from addressing the opioid crisis

Rep. Tom Marino had help in preventing the DEA from addressing the opioid crisis
Tablets of the synthetic opioid drug oxycodone along with the vials that contained them. (TNS)

To the editor: I applaud the public outcry that has thwarted Rep. Tom Marino's (R-Pa.) bid to be the nation's drug czar, but I hope Californians will note that Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) co-sponsored Marino's bill in 2016 that completely hand-tied the U.S. Drug Enforcement [Administration] in its efforts to control the opioid epidemic. ("Opioid law draws scrutiny after Trump's pick for drug czar steps aside," Oct. 17)

Marino reportedly received $100,000 in campaign contributions from the drug companies, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who also sponsored the bill, received $120,000 — but I am sure they will protest this had nothing to do with their bill.

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Nationally, deaths from opioid abuse topped 64,000 in 2016, and the number is increasing substantially. Let us hope the same people who sponsored the bill that helped increase this death toll and the drug companies increase their profits will now put their efforts into the bill sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to repeal the 2016 law.

Ann Carter, Santa Ana

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