Marino withdrawal from drug czar spot wise, but be careful with false judgements

In 2016, Rep. Tom Marino, who represents much of our region, was a guiding force behind a law he says was designed to “facilitate a balanced solution” by ensuring access to certain medications while allowing the Drug Enforcement Administration to prevent the sale and abuse of prescription drugs.

Lots of people apparently agreed with that perception.

The law passed without opposition in the House and Senate and was signed by President Barack Obama.

That is a pretty rare unanimous consensus for the past decade.

When Marino became President Donald Trump’s drug czar nominee, The Washington Post and CBS News presented a detailed report of Marino’s crafting of the law which some perceive as weakening the DEA’s authority to curb opioid distribution.

In other words, the implication is that Marino, the House, the Senate and the president were enablers who pushed through a law benefitting the pharmaceutical industry while giving momentum to the opioid epidemic.

Against that backdrop, Marino last week withdrew his name from drug czar consideration.

To the degree that perception becomes reality to so many people in 2017, his decision probably is a good one.

But appearances and reputations matter, too.

Those quick to determine the congressman sold out to the drug companies and turned a blind eye to the opioid epidemic must make the same determination, then, regarding everyone in the House and Senate as well as President Obama, given the unanimous approval of the legislation.

We just don’t buy that.

Perhaps it was flawed legislation that needs revisited and improved. That sort of thing happens every day in Washington.

And given the circumstances, it was wise for Marino to disqualify himself from the drug czar consideration.

But we all need to be careful with our judgement of what was intended with this law.

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