Ralph Northam on Drugs



Be open-minded about medicinal plants like marijuana

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello both have spoken favorably towards decriminalization. Despite the apparent bipartisan interest, opinions among members of law enforcement are all over the map.

Northam, the first candidate in the 2017 governor's race to announce his support for marijuana decriminalization, said he believes pot could have some medicinal benefits. Northam, a pediatric neurosurgeon, argues that decriminalization may lead to more research on the use of marijuana to provide relief from pain, drug-resistant epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. Northam noted the latter is of particular concern in a state with a large military and veteran population. "I'm a physician. I like to remind people there are over 100 medicines that we routinely use to take care of our patients that come from plants, so we need to be open-minded," said Northam.

Source: Mecklenburg Sun on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race , Mar 8, 2017

Blacks are twice as likely to be arrested for pot possession

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam became the first gubernatorial candidate to publicly announce his support for decriminalizing marijuana. Northam gave multiple reasons for his stance. He said that black Virginians are 2.8 times more likely than their white neighbors to be arrested for marijuana possession; that the $67 million the state spends on marijuana enforcement could better be spent on rehabilitation; and that decriminalization could lead to more research that allows doctors to better prescribe marijuana for pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. The last is of particular concern in a state with a large military and veteran population.

While Northam was the first candidate to support decriminalization, he's not the only one who wants to open up the state's marijuana laws. [One pundit] said Northam's announcement could especially help him appeal to younger voters who he's having a difficult time connecting with.

Source: Virginian-Pilot on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race , Feb 18, 2017

We spend $67 million a year enforcing our marijuana laws

Q: You've talked about disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline: Would you consider decriminalizing marijuana?

A: Yes. I announced a criminal-justice reform package, and one of the things at the top of the list was to decriminalize marijuana. There are far too many individuals who are being arrested and locked up for that. We spend $67 million a year enforcing our marijuana laws. African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to get picked up and arrested and put in jail for smoking marijuana. So, that's a top priority of mine.

As a doctor, that step of decriminalizing marijuana needs to take place so that we can look at using marijuana for medicinal purposes. I led the fight two years ago to use what we call cannabidiol. It's an oil that comes from marijuana, and we use it in intractable epilepsy, which are seizures. There are a lot of potential uses for marijuana medicinally. To be able to decriminalize it and then use evidence-based medicine to move forward--that's very important.

Source: The Washington Times on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race , Jan 13, 2017

Drug problems are not confined to youth and minorities

Meth-use is worsening the unemployment situation, as jobseekers increasingly fail drug tests. There are reports of 50 percent failure rates for people taking job-related drug tests in Southwest Virginia. On the Eastern Shore, residents used to blame drug problems on the migrants who came to pick and pack vegetables.

Ralph Northam notes drug problems are not confined to younger people or any particular racial or ethnic group. The difference, he says, is that a lot of affluent people who "get hung up on alcohol or drugs have the resources to take care of some of it and to get themselves out of trouble, whereas the lower socioeconomic folks don't."

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. 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 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race , Sep 3, 2016

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

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Chenault(R) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Treadwell(D)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Tommy Battle (R) vs.Walt Maddox (R) vs.George(R) vs.Carrington(R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.Henderson(D) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R) vs.La Riva(P)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.Doug Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D) vs.Coffman(R) vs.George Brauchler(R,A.G.) vs.Stapleton(R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Lamont(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R) vs.Drew(D)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Putnam(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Cagle(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Abrams(D) vs.Levine(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Carroll(R)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D) vs.Glasson(D) vs.Hubbell(D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(D) vs.Ives(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R) vs.Colyer(C) vs.Kobach(R) vs.Orman(O)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D) vs.Jealous(D)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D) vs.Boyle(D) vs.Thibodeau(R) vs.Moody(D)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D) vs.Schuette(R) vs.Calley(R)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R) vs.Pawlenty(R) vs.Johnson(R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(D)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Schwartz(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca (D)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Nixon(D) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Molinaro(R)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Husted(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Kucinich(D) vs.Sutton(D,Lt.Gov) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Whaley(D) vs.Cordray(D)
OK: Stitt(R) vs.Cornett(R) vs.Edmondson(D) vs.Richardson(R) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D) vs.Valdez(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D) vs.Evers(D) vs.Roys(D)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R) vs.Gordon(R)
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)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Local Issues
Social Security
Tax Reform

Search for...

Page last updated: Jun 28, 2018