To the Editor:
Millions of TV viewers (60 Minutes Sunday) learned of a successful attempt by the drug industry to weaken federal regulations just as the opioid crisis was reaching its peak. The law, HR4709, was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddle narcotics to the black market.
The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring millions of dollars into election campaigns. The Political Action Committee (PAC), representing the industry, contributed $1.5 million to 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill.
Besides sponsors and co-sponsors, few lawmakers knew the true impact of the law (they should read it). It passed Congress by unanimous consent and was signed by the president.
When a DEA federal enforcement agent gave his personal opinion against the bill, two congressmen, Tom Marino and Marsha Blackburn, sent a letter to the Inspector General wanting his head. Both these congressmen received over six figures into their campaigns.
It’s obvious that PAC’s are buying our lawmakers and they need to go, along with the lobbyists.
Keep in mind who is spending all the money to defeat Issue 2 on Nov. 7
— George Riegle
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