Community Voices

Guest Opinion: Rio Linda has a Drug Problem

By Kris “McFunstigate” McCandless

Kris “McFunstigate” McCandless

Drugs are bad, Mmmkay.

I’m not really sure when our community’s drug problem started, but I know it was here when I came around in the 80’s. I was a kid then and, thankfully, my only exposure to it was when my uncle decided to throw a huge piece of pipe from the construction site (which is now the Silver Park neighborhood) at my mom’s windshield with my brother and I in the car- all because he was pissed that my mom thwarted his efforts to get his next fix.

Whatever, it was that moment that kept me from ever touching any of that crap. So…thanks Uncle?!

Is the drug problem worse now than it was then? Has it just evolved into a myriad of addictions? I don’t know. But, it seems, by all accounts, that it has exponentialized.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to watch as a septic pumper came and cleaned out the public restroom at the Dry Creek Ranch House. Over and over again he had to stop and unclog the hose because needles would keep getting stuck. NEEDLES. Now, I’m willing to bet that a bunch of diabetics don’t frequent public restrooms and toss their needles in the toilets.

I know for a fact that needles are found on a constant basis in the Dry Creek bed, all over our parks and trails, and probably plenty more spots that aren’t coming to mind right now. How sad is it that we can’t frequent these amazing places in our community without fear of getting stabbed by someone’s discarded fix device and potentially contracting HIV, hepatitis, or rabies?! Ok, the jury is still out on the rabies bit, but, come on!!

What about the part where there is a daily post or report about some new tweak theft of tools or bikes or or or? They are stealing our hard-earned toys or livelihoods so they can escape reality for another day, and we are left suffering because of it. Do I even need to mention the kids that grow up in that sort of environment? What it does to them as future adults? The lucky ones escape and do great things with their lives, but, unfortunately, most of them succumb to what they’ve grown up with and continue the cycle.

So where does this leave us? Reinforcing all of our properties to resemble Fort Knox? Having cameras fixed on every conceivable angle of the community, so much so that there is zero privacy? And, then what? How do we make it stop? I’ve already been reamed about my view on vigilante justice. But, if they get taken to jail they are released soon after just to start all over again.

I used to think that kindness was all we needed- that perhaps one nice thing for someone could change their whole outlook on life. While I know that concept isn’t completely dead, it certainly won’t solve the damned problem. It needs other components. It needs tough love.

Why not forced rehab? Perhaps also enforcing programs that help them find different coping mechanisms for whatever ails them enough to get high in the first place. People always say that an addict has to be ready to quit or they won’t. Sorry, but that excuse is no longer cogent for me.

I don’t care if that is an infringement of their rights to get high. The moment they inflict suffering onto someone else while exercising that right is the moment they should no longer have the ability to do so.

What I want is for this community to make it very hard to be a dope fiend. More neighborhood watch programs and reporting with more drug busts from Law Enforcement. Stricter punishments instead of hand slap releases from jail. The state needs to stop friggin coddling
these people and saying “there’s nothing we can do” when we cry for help. California voters need to start reading the fine print of the things they vote for, too.

What I want is for our community to thrive and we just can’t do that surrounded by dope.

Kris “McFunstigate” McCandless, the “Doer of things” is an owner of McCandless Construction, Inc., the Current Rio Linda Elverta Chamber of Commerce President, Vice-Chair of the RLE Community Planning Advisory Council, and the Former RL/E Honorary Mayor.
She is also President and Founder at the Rio Linda Elverta Community Theater, Vice President/Lecturer of the Rio Linda Grange #403 and Huckleberry at the Rio Linda Elverta Country Faire. She is the proud owner of a freshly minted Bachelor’s degree in Logic and Philosophy of Science, Pay-it-Forward Junkie, Instigator of fun, Thinker of thoughts, and Mom.

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