John McCain on Drugs

Administration is AWOL on the war on drugs

Of the four major candidates, McCain has expressed the most hawkish positions on drug policy. He wants to increas penalties for selling drugs, supports the death penalty for drug kingpins, favors tightening security to stop the flow of drugs into the country, and wants to restrict availability of methadone for heroin addicts. He said the Clinton administration was “AWOL on the war on drugs” and he would push for more money and military assistance to drug-supplying nations such as Colombia.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21 Mar 5, 2000

Public/private partnerships for drug treatment

McCain indicates that federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs should be expanded. He says, “Work to expand public/private partnerships in support of such initiatives, and coordinate them with state and local efforts.”
Source: 2000 NPAT Jan 13, 2000

Prevention & education apply to alcohol as well as marijuana

Q: How do you reconcile the tolerance for alcohol with the intolerance for marijuana?
A: I can’t support the legalization of marijuana. Scientific evidence indicates that the moment that it enters your body, one, it does damage, and second, it can become addictive. It is a gateway drug. There is a problem in American with alcohol abuse, and there’s no doubt about that. We have to do whatever we can to - prevention, education, and that applies to drugs too.
Source: Republican Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 29, 1999

We’re losing drug war - just say no

We’re losing the war on drugs. We ought to say, “It’s not a war anymore,” or we really ought to go after it. And there was a time in our history when we weren’t always losing the war on drugs. It was when Nancy Reagan had a very simple program called “Just Say No.” And young Americans were reducing the usage of drugs in America.
Source: Republican Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 29, 1999

$1B for detection equipment for more border interdiction

I support the Drug Free Borders Act of 1999. This legislation funds advanced sensing equipment for detecting illegal drugs before they can cross our border and emerge on the streets of America’s cities. This Act authorizes over $1 billion to beef-up operations along our borders with Mexico and Canada, as well as at maritime ports. This legislation is a sound, responsible approach to enhancing this country’s capabilities to interdict the flow of drugs before they reach our children.
Source: Senate statement, “Drug Free Borders” Mar 18, 1999

Mexico: balancing act between free trade & stopping drugs

[There are] dangers implicit in failing to properly monitor traffic crossing the Mexican border. Yet, Mexico is one of our largest trading partners, and it is in our best interest to maintain as open a border as possible. It is a careful balancing act. [We should] ensure that we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal drugs without impeding the flow of legitimate commerce. The key to finding that balance is procuring equipment to expeditiously scan incoming cargo.
Source: Senate statement, “Drug Free Borders” Mar 18, 1999

Restrict methadone treatment programs

McCain introduced the “Addiction Free Treatment Act” (S.423), which prohibits the use of funds for any drug treatment or rehabilitation program that uses methadone or other heroin detoxification agents unless the program follows specified guidelines, including that the program has as its primary objective the elimination of drug addiction and that it conducts random and frequent comprehensive drug testing for all narcotics.
Source: Senate statements S.423 Feb 11, 1999

Stricter penalties; stricter enforcement

Source: Project Vote Smart, 1998, Jul 2, 1998

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