In this election year, we as a nation are paying close attention to the Presidential debates and are taking a closer look at where the candidates stand on issues. Knowing where the candidates stand on the important issues of our time is important in order to make the best informed choices when we go to the polls. While issues such as the economy, education, health care and the environment dominate the discussion, little is being discussed regarding addiction and ways we address it as a nation.
The following article will spotlight several candidates’ views on the national addiction problem and what they are proposing to address the problem.
No candidate in the 2016 Presidential race has garnered more headlines than Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. In regards to his views on drugs and addiction, Sanders is for the legalization of medical marijuana and is a co-sponsor of the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. He also co-sponsored the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would exempt industrial hemp from existing marijuana laws. Sanders has also been vocal in stating that the War on Drugs is a losing battle and that as a result there is high rates of unemployment among the youth as well as high incarceration rates for simple drug possession.
The New Jersey Republican’s views on drug addiction are progressive, but contradictory at times. On one hand, Christie feels that drug addiction is a medical condition and not as a moral failing. He also has strongly supported treatment over incarceration for non-violent and first time drug offenders. However, he is strongly opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana and is also against any sort of decriminalization for drug offenders. His conflicting opinions are echoed by many in the United States.
According to the 2014 Pew Survey, 67% of Americans believe our government’s drug policy should focus more on providing treatment than prosecuting drug users. At the same time, however, Americans are wary of insurance, housing, and employment policies meant to help people with a drug problem and 43% opposed to giving those addicted to substances the same health insurance benefits as the general public.
In her campaign for the White House, Clinton has pledged to bring the issues of substance abuse and mental illness to the forefront. In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Clinton turned over the floor at a public forum in New Hampshire to those who had ideas on how to tackle the growing opiate problem and how public policies can be developed to better handle the addiction problem as a whole. During her presidential campaign, Clinton announced a $10 billion plan to combat drug and alcohol addiction.
Cruz is in favor of lowering the minimums and mandatory sentencing for drug crimes. He was an original co-sponsor of the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015, which was a bill that would lower minimum sentences. This would give judges more flexibility in determining the appropriate sentence on a case by case basis given the unique facts of those cases. In regards to medical marijuana, Cruz has seemingly changed his position on the subject. Last year, Cruz roundly criticized President Obama for not aggressively enforcing the federal ban on marijuana in those states that legalized the drug for medicinal or recreational use. However, he has since changed his stance stating that while he doesn’t agree with the medical marijuana legalization, states have the right to do what is in their best interest.
The Kentucky Republican with libertarian leanings, Paul has been a vocal opponent on the War on Drugs. In Paul’s view, the War on Drugs has created a situation in which minorities comprise three-fourths of the total prison population. While he has not given vocal endorsement for the support of the legalization of marijuana, he is in full support of states adopting their own policies in regards to establishing their own policies.
Where Do You Stand on the Issues Regarding Drug Addiction?
The issues that surround drug addiction are complex, and the views of the candidates running for President reflect the often conflicting views that many Americans have on the subject. While it is an issue that is not at the top of many candidates’ platforms, addiction is nevertheless a huge concern among healthcare professionals, lawmakers and citizens alike. In order for addiction issues to become a greater concern, there needs to be a greater focus on educating ourselves on the disease of addiction.
Recovery Hub is one of the most comprehensive addiction, treatment and recovery resources on the Internet. With a wide variety of informative articles, insightful blogs, and an experienced team of professionals who are available around the clock to answer any and all questions, Recovery Hub should be your first choice in getting the information you need to become more educated and aware. Call us today at 888-220-4352.