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Peter Shumlin on Drugs

 

 


Time to make marijuana well-regulated legal substance

The War on Drugs has failed, and there is no greater example than our nation's marijuana laws. Vermont took steps to institute a well-regulated medical marijuana system that now serves 2,400 Vermonters. But the black market of drug dealers selling marijuana for recreational use is alive and well, that's why I will work with you to craft the right bill that eliminates the era of prohibition that is currently failing us. I will insist on 5 things before I'll sign a bill:
  1. A legal market must keep marijuana and other drugs out of the hands of underage kids.
  2. The tax imposed must be low enough to wipe out the black market and get rid of the illegal drug dealers.
  3. Revenue from legalization must be used to expand addiction prevention programs.
  4. We must strengthen law enforcement's capacity to respond to impaired drivers under the influence of Marijuana
  5. Take a hard lesson learned from other states and ban the sale of edibles until other states figure out how to do it right.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Vermont legislature , Jan 7, 2016

Prioritize reducing opioid misuse

Let's put an end to the system where doctors, dentists, and health care providers send patients home with 80 or 90 Oxycontin pills in their pocket. I am proposing a new system, where a maximum of 10 pills will be the limit for minor procedures. Second, we are partnering with pharmacies to expand drug take back programs. Third, we are partnering with neighboring states to upgrade the Prescription Monitoring System to prevent addicts from crossing state borders to go pill shopping.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Vermont legislature , Jan 7, 2016

Address drug addiction as a public health crisis

Vermont is confronted by a crisis of the rising tide of drug addiction and drug-related crime. In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us.

We often hear in the news about the criminal side of drug addiction, about the robberies or the busts in our communities. Our police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges do an extraordinary job under tough circumstances. But as those who are in the thick of this struggle have concluded, we must bolster our current approach to addiction with more common sense. We must address it as a public health crisis, providing treatment and support, rather than simply doling out punishment, claiming victory, and moving onto our next conviction.

Addiction is, at its core, a chronic disease. We must do for this disease what we do for cancer, diabetes, heart, and other chronic illness: first, aim for prevention, and then eradicate any disease that develops with aggressive treatment.

Source: 2014 Vermont State of the State speech , Jan 8, 2014

War on recidivism: $300,000 for methadone treatment

Many non-violent offenders have drug & alcohol related addictions. When their time is up, lack of adequate housing, adult basic education, drug & alcohol counseling, mental health services & job options leave them with the same lack of skills & substance abuse challenges that led them into prison in the first place.

My Administration will re-allocate an additional $300,000 to unlock the waiting lists for methadone treatment. This represents the first steps in my administration's war on recidivism.

Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address , Jan 25, 2011

Rated A+ by NORML, indicating a pro-drug-reform stance.

Shumlin scores A+ 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: Peter Shumlin on other issues:
VT Gubernatorial:
Matt Dunne
Phil Scott
Shap Smith
VT Senatorial:
Bernie Sanders

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Page last updated: Feb 20, 2017