The monster we must battle

The Journal editorial

How West Virginia legislators and Gov. Jim Justice handle the state’s fiscal meltdown will affect each and every person in our state for years to come. Both for now and the future, they simply must get it right.

But that challenge pales in comparison to the life-and-death crisis that both figuratively and literally is destroying so many West Virginians.

It is drug abuse, of course.

During the current regular session of the Legislature, both many lawmakers and the governor have put forth thoughtful, strategic recommendations to battle the scourge. They include establishing a new Office of Drug Control Policy and creating new substance abuse treatment centers.

Though much of what is being proposed will cost little or nothing, ideas such as the two listed above are expensive. Implementing them will cost millions of dollars — perhaps tens of millions.

That is money we simply do not have, some will say. Taxpayers cannot afford such initiatives, they add. Think about that for a moment.

Can we afford not to do all in our power to battle the monster?

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