Boston’s “Methadone Mile” is known for its high concentration of addicts, drug dealers, public sex, prostitutes, violent criminals, overdose victims, the homeless, and a veritable candy store of narcotics. Mass and Cass streets are used as a public restroom.
Cleaning up the mile, however, is a common campaign promise of Boston’s liberal politicians, even as they continue to demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to manage the problem. A rehab center on Long Island, safe injection zones, methadone clinics and police sweeps are just a few of the quick fixes these lawmakers are advocating. Despite these efforts, the humanitarian tragedy that befalls the once great communities ruined by the Mile continues.
To solve the problem of the Methadone Mile, you need to target the drugs and the people who sell them. There were 71,238 deaths in the United States attributable to synthetic opioids (fentanyl), with 2,290 of those deaths in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, addressing the heart of the problem contradicts the progressive political philosophy championed by state and local lawmakers, supported by the ACLU.
In what could be called China’s reverse opium war against the United States, the chemicals that create fentanyl are imported from China to cartels in Mexico for manufacture. Fentanyl is trafficked across the southern US-Mexico border. In a 2021 interview on “Face the Nation,” Anne Milgram, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said authorities have seized enough fentanyl in the past year to “kill everyone Americans.” Just a few weeks ago, on August 26, Arizona Customs and Border Protection agents seized enough fentanyl to kill 42 million people. They all enter through Vice President Kamala Harris’ “secure” southern border. We have located the source of the lethal drug and established its identity. Have you ever heard the progressive Democratic leaders in Boston imploring the federal government to do something about our border, which is a major contributor to the opioid problem in Boston and across Massachusetts? Obviously not, since securing the borders is not on his list of progressive priorities.
Fentanyl in quantities sufficient to kill all Americans would not be able to freely cross our border if that were the case. None of the drugs that enter the United States do so without the help of smugglers, the vast majority of whom are here illegally. However, these illegal immigrants can rest easy knowing that Boston is a sanctuary city and that they are safe from deportation. To make things even more convenient for their drug trafficking operations, the Massachusetts state legislature has declared that they are allowed to obtain driver’s licenses.
Both controversial former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and failed progressive candidate for District Attorney Ricardo Arroyo had a vision of criminal justice that was a gift to criminals. Drug possession and distribution were on Rollins’ “do not prosecute” list. Allow drug dealers, who should be locked up for long periods, to continue doing what they love to do without fear of repercussions. Because? because it is a progressive thing. Despite retracting her support for Arroyo, Mayor Michelle Wu ultimately voted for him because, she said, “it was about positions.”
Open borders, sanctuary cities, non-prosecution of drug traffickers and the now covert attitude towards defunding the police are all progressive positions. Bostonians should keep pushing their politicians to fix Methadone Mile, but they should also consider electing candidates who won’t embrace harmful ideas that will destroy our city.
Rasheed Walters is a businessman, political commentator and historian. He is a member of Project 21 and resides in Boston. Follow him on Twitter @rasheednwalters.