Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 2015
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2015 Virgin Islands Daily News
Author: Eva-Nzingha G. Moorhead


I would like to thank Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly for mentioning the 
social ills plaguing the territory, specifically the lack of a safety 
net for its young people.

( Daily News, May 13, 2015: "Senator asks where is the opposition to 

She spoke of her concern for developing brains and people who are 
predisposed to addiction. She even told the personal story of her own 
brother who succumbed to heroin and explained how remorseful he felt 
while sitting in a jail cell missing his family. I commend her for 
sharing such a painful memory with the citizens of the Virgin Islands.

I feel the need, however, to bring some perspective to her concerns. 
As I read the article I wondered to myself if the senator was 
familiar with the term "opiate"? Because legal drugs such as morphine 
and codeine are, in fact, medicinal heroin. Aconversation with some 
of our local veterans could educate her on the addictive qualities of 
such pain medications.

Many people seem to think that marijuana is the gateway to hell, but 
I am quite sure that they would not consider it as such if it were 
legal. The reason is because the senator failed to mention alcoholic 
beverages. Maybe I am turning a blind eye to the hordes of middle 
school children showing up to classes full of cannabis but I am fully 
aware of the people who are mentally, physically, sexually and 
verbally abused by alcoholics every day. Innocent people are killed 
by drunken drivers; minors' brains are destroyed by consuming it and 
people with addictive personalities and mental illness are placed in 
graves because of alcohol addiction on a regular basis.

Yet, we produce liquor right here in the Virgin Islands, we have a 
lower drinking age than in the states and we sell it "duty free" to 
tourists every day.

So, while I thank the senator for her concern, I might be more apt to 
believe it if she had raised the education budget and lowered her own 
salary to pay for it.

Please stop the hypocrisy. The people have voted. I urge the senator 
to respect the voting public.

Eva-Nzingha G. Moorhead, St. Croix
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