In the Feb. 13 Letters to the Editor ("Drugs force grandparents to become parents, again"), Jean Riesen makes the case for building a wall to stop the drug problem. Let’s take a minute to unpack this complex problem that has no simple solutions.

First, taking drugs, legal or otherwise, is a conscious act. If an individual does not understand the risks of drugs, then what can you do.

Second, the pharmaceutical industry profits mightily from the “epidemic.” Over-prescribing is an established fact, and illicit distribution is commonplace.

And third, police organizations thrive under this “epidemic” as they fill the private prison complex with people and the municipal coffers with money.

Building a “wall” changes none of this. I would argue that The Wall is the “opiate of the people” (to quote Marx) as they struggle with poor jobs, poor education, unaffordable housing and little or no hope for the future. To quote the rapper KRS-One: “Wake up! Take the pillow from your head and put a book in it.”

By the way, I am 70 years old and can attest that “drugs” were around in the '50s. The current state is nothing new.

Dave Peterson, Tehachapi