In Lee Davidson’s article about the new panhandling law and opioids, there is something that Rep. Steve Eliason didn’t say which I think should be said: Although motorists who give money to panhandlers may sometimes inadvertently aid opioid abusers in satisfying their addiction, this is hardly consequential compared to what is actually causing the opioid epidemic — the drug companies who market opioids and doctors who irresponsibly prescribe opioids.

So, to really solve this problem and help deter future epidemics of this sort, I think Eliason should look into the causes of the epidemic and possibly urge the state of Utah and city of Sandy to pursue legal actions, such as lawsuits, against drug companies like Pfizer, and also urge the attorney general to conduct criminal investigations against Pfizer, et al.

Richard L. Peterson