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Drug trade affects us all

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  • Culture of corruption often fueled by weak economy

    Culture of corruption often fueled by weak economy

    Friday, April 11 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-04-11 18:32:15 GMT
    West Virginia is burdened by a sad tradition of political corruption and graft.
    West Virginia is burdened by a sad tradition of political corruption and graft.
  • Only real change brings lasting prosperity

    Only real change brings lasting prosperity

    Friday, April 4 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-04-04 10:00:15 GMT
    West Virginia's continual exploration and development of natural gas is the gateway to something better.
    West Virginia's continual exploration and development of natural gas is the gateway to something better.
  • Supreme Court inaction should spur in-state action

    Supreme Court inaction should spur in-state action

    Friday, March 28 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-03-28 15:16:18 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week it will not review a case involving the Arch CoalSpruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine.
    The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week it will not review a case involving the Arch CoalSpruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine.

On the Aug. 11 edition of the State Journal's Decision Makers, we heard from those affected by the brutal killings of four people in Clarksburg late last month. Investigators say the shooting was directly related to the city's growing drug trade. Among those caught in the crossfire were Fred and Fred Swiger — a father and son delivering newspapers for the Exponent Telegram who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. What we learned on Sunday's show is that our state's drug trade does not just affect those who use and deal. It affects the entire community. We heard from an elderly woman who barricades herself in her home. We heard from a mother who will not allow her children to play in the front yard. We heard from police officers who are doing all they can but are still overwhelmed.

As a state, we are better than this. These are stories for Detroit and Chicago and St. Louis, not for Charleston or Wheeling or Clarksburg or Beckley. However, we cannot address this situation if we refuse to acknowledge the truth. The drug trade is here, it's taking hold and, if we're going to take back our communities, we need stand up and say with one voice "no more."