The odds are you know someone affected by the opioid epidemic. I will get serious about solving the issue. First, we need to dry up the supply, working with federal agencies to crack down on domestic and foreign suppliers, including the pharmaceutical industry. Second, we need to work with the state’s doctors, nurses, hospitals, and pharmacies to ensure legal prescriptions aren’t abused—and prosecute those who profit from abuse. Finally, we need to ensure funds are available for treatment and rehabilitation of our kids, significant others, friends, and neighbors who need help. Rehabilitation for opioid addicts is particularly tough, with relapse rates estimated as high as 91%, but we can’t afford to send someone to rehab 3 or 4 times without consequence. Rehab has to be “one and done right,” so I favor legislation that tracks the performance of licensed rehab centers receiving taxpayer money and shuts down the scammers. Let’s also be clear that even as we address opioids, some other drug will come along, so we need to build our laws, partnerships, and assistance programs with long-term flexibility in mind.
I cannot let legalized marijuana go unaddressed as part of a discussion about drugs. Colorado’s great experiment with marijuana continues and is expected to add over $200 million to our state’s coffers in 2018. During this campaign and when I’m elected, you’ll hear me say “show me the data” again and again, because our laws must be grounded in facts. Contrary to what so-called “law and order” lawmakers will say, there’s not a strong link between legalization and crime. Marijuana was big business for criminal syndicates, their methods for winning were deadly, but their threat is now reduced. I’m willing to continue the experiment here in Colorado, though with a skeptical eye. If the data points toward marijuana linked with a rise in violent personal or non-violent property crimes, I’ll withdraw my support; however, if marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol to the individual and community, it’ll be here to stay.
1 – https://drugabuse.com/library/opiate-relapse/
2 – http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/19/news/colorado-marijuana-tax-revenue/index.html
3 – https://coloradopolitics.com/despite-claims-data-show-legalized-marijuana-not-increased-crime-rates/ ; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326182049.htm