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Charlie Baker on Drugs

 

 


Don't legalize marijuana: it's unsafe & lowers IQ in kids

This November, voters in Massachusetts will be asked whether to legalize marijuana. Our state has already decriminalized the drug for personal use, and we've made it legally available for medical use. The question before us now is whether marijuana should be fully legal and widely available for commercial sale. We think the answer is "no."

Where marijuana is legal, young people are more likely to use it: while use among minors has declined nationwide in recent years, states like Colorado have seen an increase. Kids in states that have legalized marijuana have easier access to the drug. And many believe that, since the drug is legal for adults, it must be safe to use.

What the evidence shows us, though, is that marijuana is not safe. Regular use that starts in adolescence has been shown to impair brain development, and even lower IQ. And increasingly, medical science is also showing a frightening correlation between regular marijuana use and severe mental health issues.

Source: Boston Globe op-ed by Charlie Baker & Maura Healey , Mar 4, 2016

Vigorously oppose recreational marijuana but medical pot ok

Governor-elect Charlie Baker pledged to "vigorously oppose" the legalization of recreational marijuana, even as he plans to move forward with the implementation of medical marijuana.

Supporters of legalized marijuana have already started laying the foundation for a 2016 ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Similar ballot questions passed in Colorado and Washington in 2012.

Baker, asked about the issue in an interview with The Republican/MassLive.com in Boston on Monday, said, "I'm going to oppose that and I'm going to oppose that vigorously, with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community."

Baker, a Republican, said many people dealing with addiction believe marijuana use is a "significant first step" toward addiction to other drugs. "There's a ton of research out there at this point that says, especially for young people, it's just plain bad," Baker said.

Source: MassLive.com on 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate , Nov 12, 2014

Get dispensaries open for medical marijuana

[On medical marijuana], Baker declined to comment on his next steps regarding the licensing process or the provisional licenses granted by the administration of outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick. Baker said he needs to learn more about where the process sits today and about the pending legal challenges. He reiterated comments he made on the campaign trail that he is disappointed the administration did not consult with experts in pain and cancer treatment.

Baker indicated that he will move forward with trying to get the dispensaries open. "I think waiting is a bad idea. There are clearly people who are looking for Massachusetts to get its act together and move forward on this," Baker said.

Baker also stressed his commitment to addressing opiate addiction--which has become a big issue over the last year after a spate of overdose deaths in Massachusetts. The state legislature passed a comprehensive bill aimed at addressing drug addiction by requiring insurers to cover substance abuse treatment.

Source: MassLive.com on 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate , Nov 12, 2014

Alternative incarceration & treat non-violent offenders

Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker is unveiling what he's calling a comprehensive approach to tackling the drug addiction crisis in Massachusetts. Baker said he would require hospitals and first responders to report overdoses directly to the Department of Public Health and mandate doctors consult the state's Prescription Monitoring Program before writing or renewing a prescription on an annual basis. Baker said the state should work with schools to develop age-appropriate programs to help children understand the physical, social and economic consequences of addiction. He said the state should also ensure there are suitable in-patient facilities for teenagers and young adults fighting addiction. Baker said he would also push for alternatives to incarceration, including treatment for non-violent offenders. Baker planned to announce the proposal Thursday in the city's South Boston neighborhood. (Associated Press, 7/31/2014)
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.213 , Sep 1, 2014

Repeal mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug offenses

Candidates for major offices this year in Massachusetts are backing the repeal or reform of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, according to a report released by Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker supported repeal of such laws. "No candidate was in favor of longer mandatory minimum sentences or additional mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses," the group wrote in its report, released just over a week before the Sept. 9 primary elections. Legislative leaders vowed in 2012 to revisit criminal sentencing reform proposals in the 2013-2014 session, but never got behind legislation to fulfill that promise. Attorney general candidate Warren Tolman referred the group to his "Smart on Crime" plan and wrote, "I not only support repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, I will lead the fight to repeal them!" (State House News Service, 9/2/2014)
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.215 , Sep 1, 2014

I've smoked pot many times, but legalizing is a bad idea

Q: Would you legalize pot?

A: I'm actually against legalizing pot.

Q: Have you smoked?

A: I have, many many years ago.

Q: Many times?

A: Haha, yes, so many times I can't remember. I've talked to a lot of law enforcement and in the health care community and they all say the same thing which is they don't think it is a good idea. It is a more dangerous drug than people realize, and I take advice from people who know more than me. [So] I'm against this. (WAAF-FM, 2/21/2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.214 , Sep 1, 2014

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

Baker scores F 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

Other governors on Drugs: Charlie Baker on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D) vs.Wisniewski(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R) vs.Guadagno(R) vs.Rullo(R)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Northam(D) vs.Perriello(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.(no opponent yet)
AL: (no candidate yet)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Istvan(I) vs.Villaraigosa(D)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
FL: (no candidate yet)
GA: (no candidate yet)
HI: Ige(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D)
KS: (no candidate yet)
MA: Baker(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
ME: (no candidate yet)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
MN: Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NM: Grisham(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
NV: (no candidate yet)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OK: (no candidate yet)
OR: Brown(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
SD: Noem(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
TN: Green(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
VT: Scott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WI: Walker(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WY: (no candidate yet)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Feb 18, 2017