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Tim Kaine on Drugs

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor

 


FDA and Big Pharma to blame for opioid dependency

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia says the opioid "dependency is worse than anything we've ever seen in this country" and that blame is shared by pharmaceutical companies and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "So now we have 4 percent of the American public consuming 85 percent of the world's prescription opioids."

And use of heroin, which is an opioid, is also skyrocketing. Users addicted to prescription opioids are switching to street heroin for an economic reason: It's cheaper. "People try to save money by buying heroin, but don't know what's in it or how pure it is. Eighty percent of heroin overdoses are by people that started with prescription medicine and then switched to heroin because it's cheaper," Kaine says.

Since 2010 in Virginia, the rate of heroin overdose deaths has increased nearly five-fold. And white males aged 25-44 are the largest group affected.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch on 2016 vice-presidential hopefuls , Sep 3, 2016

Against decriminalizing marijuana at state or federal level

Kaine's regressive and repressive views and votes on marijuana recently earned him into a "hall of shame" over at StopTheDrugWar.com. Just last month, they consolidated NORML's congressional scorecard, and displayed the names of 26 current US senators to whom they have given an "F" rating. Unsurprisingly, only four were Democrats; unfortunately, one of those four prohibitionists is Tim Kaine. He said: "I wouldn't vote for a law at the federal or state level that would decriminalize marijuana."
Source: MarijuanaPolitics.com, "Prohibitionist VP": 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 23, 2016

Supported Senate bill to fight opioid epidemic

I've seen firsthand how significant an impact the opioid and heroin abuse epidemic is having on communities and families in Virginia. More Virginians now die from these overdoses than car accidents, and law enforcement currently lacks the tools to save more lives. I'm pleased this bill will encourage co-prescribing of naloxone -- a life-saving drug -- alongside opioid prescriptions and also implements a measure to protect the elderly from medication abuse.
Source: Kaine's Senate office website, during 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 13, 2016

Reduce sentences but do not decriminalize pot

Questions ranged from topics such as the government treatment of ISIS, to the decriminalization of marijuana. To the latter, Kaine said that while he "support[s] drastic changes in sentencing laws, I wouldn't vote for a law at the federal or state level that would decriminalize marijuana."
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: The Cosby Bolt, "Tim Kaine Forum" , Jan 21, 2010

Anti-drug and anti-gang units in State Police

Tim Kaine supports giving the State Police the resources they need to combat gang violence, drug dealers and terrorism. As Governor, Kaine would expand the Virginia State Police’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Units to fight gang and drug activity in local communities and investigate and interrupt terrorist cells.

The State Police have highly trained specialists, but they also split their time between special assignments and regular highway patrol duties. These specially trained officers are the ones working with localities in task forces that fight gangs and drug rings and we rely heavily upon them to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism. While they are always ready to take on special projects, they leave holes when they are pulled off to serve on task forces. The State Police should have sufficient manpower to have both full-time specialists and a strong regular force.

Source: 2005 Gubernatorial campaign website kaine2005.org, “Issues” , Nov 8, 2005

Rated C+ by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance.

Kaine scores C+ by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2016 NORML scores as follows:

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

NORML is a nonprofit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime.

NORML supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession & responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML website 16_NORML on Nov 8, 2016

Criminalize imports of opioid precursors.

Kaine signed criminalizing imports of opioid precursors

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to the President of the European Commission We write to request designating NPP and ANPP, which are precursor chemicals of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, as Table I substances under the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. NPP and ANPP are [legal under EU law but] already controlled in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act. However, without collective international action it will be difficult to control NPP and ANPP, and will frustrate efforts to curb manufacturing and trafficking of illicit fentanyl.

Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Against Drug Prohibition"): People in almost all cultures, in every era, have used psychoactive drugs. A "drug free America" is not a realistic goal, and by criminally banning psychoactive drugs the government has ceded control of potentially dangerous substances to criminals. Instead of trying to stamp out drug use, our government should focus on reducing drug abuse and prohibition-generated crime. This requires a fundamental change in public policy: repeal of criminal prohibition and the creation of a reasonable regulatory system.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Do Restrictions Reduce Opioid Poisonings?", by Jeffrey Miron): Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which record a patient's opioid prescribing history, when required as "must access," PDMPs significantly reduce misuse in Medicare Part D. But there is no statistically significant effect on opioid poisoning incidents. How is this possible? The simplest explanation is that, despite all the hype, prescription opioids are not that dangerous, even in heavy doses, when used under medical supervision. Instead, most poisonings reflect use of diverted prescription opioids, or black market opioids, which may be adulterated. Under this interpretation, restrictions on opioid prescribing might even increase opioid poisonings.

Source: Letter on Fentanyl 17LTR-NPP on Feb 17, 2017

Other candidates on Drugs: Tim Kaine on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Frank Wagner
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
Tom Perriello
VA Senatorial:
Corey Stewart
Ed Gillespie
Nick Freitas
Robert Sarvis

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Contact info:
Campaign website:
www.kaineforva.com
Email:
team@kaineforva.com
Mailing Address:
PO Box 12307, Richmond, VA 23241
Phone:
804-819-1919
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Page last updated: Jun 12, 2018