Lewiston’s city councilors, in a brilliant vote of 4-3 just voted to join the lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. This is an amazing decision and I am thrilled to see Lewiston taking this crisis seriously. Nationally, we’ve lost more people to opioid related deaths in the recent history than in the height of the AIDS crisis, but we aren’t fighting for solutions a fraction of the degree. It’s heartening to see Lewiston get involved in a serious way.
Voting against this great action were councilors Tim Lajoie, Shane Bouchard and Mike Lachance. It’s very discouraging to see the three councilors scoff this off as a simple money grab as they have. 25%, the amount that the lawyers could win, is a standard benchmark reward for lawyers in this type of thing. I’m especially frustrated by Bouchard who is running for mayor of Lewiston but isn’t doing everything he can to stop dozens of people from unnecessarily dying in the city he wants to run.
Others have commented that there’s no place for the government to dictate what the companies and the doctors can do as a reason to vote against this lawsuit. I couldn’t disagree any stronger. Yes, there are examples of over regulation in our country and we should look at stripping some regulations away on a case by case basis. But there are dozens of situations where they are necessary, required and vital. Limited government regulations that protect our nation’s health and is one of the few major key objectives of the government. We’re losing thousands of lives as a nation because we’re so scared of the government saying that companies can’t blatantly lie about addictive elements of drugs? No. That mentality is weak and apathetic. People are dying because of our obsession with money and greed. Stand up and have a back bone.
Congratulations to Lewiston for making an effort towards saving lives, and let’s keep up the fight!
All opinions are my own and not representative of any other organization, company or person other than me. -James
James is resident of Auburn, a member of the Auburn Democrats, the Maine Young Dems, Maine People’s Alliance, and the Communication’s Coordinator of the Androscoggin County Young Dems