Ron seeks common ground and solutions at heroin hearing

Ron held a bipartisan field hearing in Pewaukee to find common ground to address the heroin epidemic — and talked about how securing the border has to be part of the solution.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 

“Our borders are not secure,” said Johnson, who as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs held a field hearing on Friday at Waukesha County Technical College.

“If our borders remain porous, as they are today, supply will continue to increase, prices will continue to fall, and Wisconsinites will continue to use these deadly narcotics,” he said in his opening statement.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the problem was big enough to accommodate anyone’s political perspective.

“Ask any law enforcement officer, here in this room or anywhere, what is the worst problem you’ve seen in the last quarter century, this is it. This is the one.”

He agreed with Johnson, saying the ease with which heroin is brought across the border and transported into the state has made it cheaper and, because it doesn’t need to be cut, more powerful.

From the Washington Times: 

With heroin use and opioid-related deaths on the rise in Wisconsin, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is focusing on cutting off the flow of drugs through the Mexico border.

Johnson and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin held a hearing on the epidemic Friday at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, listening to medical professionals, law enforcement, state legislators and families affected by heroin abuse.

The rate of drug-related deaths almost doubled in Wisconsin from 2004 to 2012. In 2012, 633 Wisconsin residents died due to drugs, most due to opioids.

Johnson, who chairs the U.S. Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said the issue has to be addressed from many different angles, but he placed the most emphasis on the tie between drug abuse and border security.

“Among many causes of our unsecure border, I place at the top of the list America’s insatiable demand for drugs,” said Johnson …