As a visitor from out of state, enjoying one of my favorite vacation destinations, I am moved to respond to Gov. LePage’s comment about out-of-state drug dealers.

Subsequent to hearing his belief that over 90 percent of the dealers are African-American or Hispanic, I learned of reports that both the FBI and Portland police records indicate that about 14 percent of apprehended dealers are of color.

Regardless of the race of the dealers, the problem that government officials should and could address is drug abuse by Mainers. If there were no drug abusers, there would be no market and, therefore, no dealers.

Unfortunately, helping drug addicts overcome their dependency requires long-term and expensive action. Too many officials, among them the governor, would rather deflect attention from the root cause of the problem – their fellow citizens who abuse drugs – than devote the necessary resources to find and implement effective solutions.

Kenneth W. Hopper

Washington, D.C.