Attorney general speaks at Clanton Lions Club meeting

Published 5:33 pm Friday, October 20, 2017


Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall made a special visit to Clanton to deliver an engaging speech to Clanton Lions Club members during their meeting at Kountry Kitchen on Oct. 20.

Beth Hughes, who is both Marshall’s assistant and wife to Clanton Lions Club president Tony Hughes, opened the floor to Marshall with a brief introduction.

Marshall centered his 22-minute speech on the roles of an attorney general. He touched on a variety of topics, such as immigration, human trafficking, mental health, drugs and accountability for government officials.

“I’ve got to look beyond just the borders of the state of Alabama, and figure out how it is that I can make sure that I can protect our own sovereign interests,” Marshall said of his position, during his address.

Marshall described his experience with public safety and surprised club members with statistics regarding violent crime in Alabama and usage of opioid drugs in America.

Nationally, Alabama is ranked third in violent crime rate and first in opioid prescription usage, according to Marshall.

“There’s no telling what that costs the state,” Tony Hughes said of the drug usage. “First of all, I’m sad for the people’s lives that are being destroyed, but then also, that’s got to be just a staggering amount of money that’s lost or spent to help those folks.”

Death by opioid overdose was another confounding statistic.

“Nationally, we lose 147 people per day to overdose,” Marshall said. “That means that every three weeks, we’re losing more people than who died in 9/11. That’s an awful lot of impact on families and communities.”

“I was shocked by the number of opiate addictions that die,” club president Tony Hughes said. “My heavenly days! What, every three weeks as many people die of that that died in 9/11?”

Marshall answered questions following his speech, and visited with members afterward.

“Some of the very things we talked about today is that we need to deal with that opioid crisis because it’s affecting things here,” Marshall said after the event. “We know that we need to continue to talk about ways that we can assist law enforcement on violent crimes. And then beyond that, though, those sort of institutional interests — we need to make sure that we’re doing that [for them], as well.”

Hughes said Marshall did “an incredible job” with the time allotted him at the meeting.

Through Beth Hughes’ affiliation as assistant to the attorney general, the club had invited Marshall before, but had needed to reschedule for the Oct. 21 event.

Tony Hughes closed the event after a concluding prayer by Chilton County District Judge Chris Speaks.