Feedback from April 29 and Beyond | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly

Feedback from April 29 and Beyond 

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"Pill Popping" April 8 Private Eye column
I found John Saltas' "Pill Popping" article informative and timely. As someone who worked in the pharma industry for 30-plus years, mainly as a Drug Enforcement Administration compliance manager, I agree that flushing meds is not good for downstream inhabitants. The safe and legal way to dispose of unwanted medications can be done under the DEA'S Drug Take Back program. (Find out more at

The "war on drugs" was indeed a fiasco and waste of taxpayer money. It put a lot of relatively innocent people in prison—often those who were hooked on drugs and could not break the cycle of addition.

The real root cause of the current opioid crisis is doctors who overprescribe these medications. As Saltas said—and as I have experienced myself—you have a tooth pulled or surgery done, and they give you a prescription for 10 or 20 pills when 3 or 4 will do. Then there are the pill mills, where doctors take your money and give you a prescription.

The DEA knows it's mainly doctors who are the problem, but it's easier to go after the distributors and manufacturers—that's where the money is. The DEA's war on manufacturers and distributors started with Joseph Rannazzisi, who was the head of the DEA Diversion section. He hated Big Pharma and went after them with a vengeance. Look up him up on a 60 Minutes story (which was disappointing because it was entirely one-sided).

I'm not saying the manufacturers and distributors are blameless. They made mistakes—and they have gone to great lengths to clean up their act.
Patrick (Pat) Shields
North Salt Lake

"Get on the Canna-bus" April 22 cover story
We voted, they gutted. But a mask mandate is government overreach?
Via Instagram

"How Do You Spell Releaf?" April 29 cover story
Listen to Utah in the Weeds podcast. If you're unfamiliar with Utah's laws and regulations, start at the beginning.
Via Instagram

"Sliced and Diced" April 29 Private Eye column
We are suffering now. Look at the lack of intellect in our representation in Washington, D.C.
Mike Schmauch
Via Facebook

Tech Titans Who Couldn't Care Less
America is the technology titan of the planet. America is the productivity engineer of the nations. America is the humanitarian giant of the globe. America is the policeman of the world.

If all this is true, why then is India burning hundreds of thousands of its people to ashes night and day to remove the human outfall of our leadership role in the world?

Perhaps it is because we are obsessed with private entertainment uses of technology, rather than public health uses. Maybe it is because we have farmed out our manufacturing and customer service jobs to ill-paid foreigners who are exploited daily by their rulers. Could it be that we don't give a damn about Indian people of brown and black color? Is it possible we police other nations like we police our own minority neighborhoods and our own borders, dismissively and violently?

And it seems likely our leaders, who have done an abominable job of preventing the disease here at home, and many of our people who do little to save themselves from the disease let alone others, won't feel the slightest twinge of guilt about India.
Kimball Shinkoskey
Woods Cross

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