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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Editorial implores aid not punishment for local addicts

The Spokane Daily Chronicle editorial page warned of a “Northwest dope ring” with tentacles in Spokane. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
The Spokane Daily Chronicle editorial page warned of a “Northwest dope ring” with tentacles in Spokane. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

The Spokane Daily Chronicle editorial page warned of a “Northwest dope ring” with tentacles in Spokane.

The editors urged police to “bend every effort to the capture of the sowers of mental and physical destruction.”

The paper did not blame the drug addicts themselves. It called them the “unfortunates who have acquired to a greater or lesser extent the drug habit because of prolonged sickness, the tortures of which have demanded strong stimulant.”

They “must be helped,” said the paper. Physicians, not police, were needed for that.

“But they (police) can help by building four walls of brick and steel about the profiteer who sneaks into the home with his vial of poison and holds it tantalizingly under the nostrils of the weakling — the criminal who ekes out his rotten existence at the cost of his fellow’s mind, body and self-respect.”

From the railroad beat: A Pasco railroad engineer died after two freight trains smashed into each other near the Snake River Junction.

Cars full of fruit were thrown 200 feet down a ravine. The engineer, E.A. Rehberg, was trapped in the wreckage and stoically endured an amputation of his leg in an attempt to extricate him. He subsequently died from other injuries.

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