Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Spokane


Fluoridation: Where the real tax savings are

I was in my middle twenties before I knew what a cavity was. My friends had them; I almost felt left out.

I happened to have spent my early years in Madison, Wis., one of the first cities to have its water supply fluoridated.

Our editorial today argues for restoring Medicaid dental coverage for poor adults. That would cost the state something on the order of $30 million and the federal government more, since it would be paying for a further expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Total Medicaid dental in Washington could come in at something north of $90 million per biennium.

That cost might be pared in the future if all of Washington’s cities adopted fluoridation, which the U.S. Centers for Disease controls has called “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” One study cited by the American Dental Association estimates that every $1 invested in fluoridation saves $38 worth of dentistry later.

Close to two-thirds of Washingtonians benefit from fluoridated drinking water, but a few bastions of enlightenment – including Olympia, Spokane and Bellingham – remain holdouts.
Read more »


Dope dispensaries? Not here, please

The best way to deal with weeds is to whack them before they go to seed. Prosecutors are doing pretty much that to marijuana dispensaries that have taken root in Spokane, of all places.

The Spokane County prosecutor’s office is pressing drug-dealing felony charges against a man busted last year with five pounds of marijuana in his home. Darren J. McCrea, 41, is the founder of SpoCannabis, a group that sells the drug to patients certified by doctors as eligible for medical marijuana.

Washington voters approved the medicinal use of cannabis in 1998 – but under tight restrictions.

California was already becoming notorious for effectively legalizing recreational dope-smoking through its extremely lax medical marijuana law. Washingtonians were offered their own loophole-riddled marijuana initiative in 1997, and they resoundingly rejected it. Read more »