Addiction drains our world of potential. It tears families apart and causes unbelievable pain. I know this firsthand, as I come from a family with many addiction problems. We need effective programs to prevent drug addiction and rehabilitate those who have been afflicted by this scourge. In Congress, I will fight to ensure that law enforcement agencies and mental health workers have all the federal funding they need.
America’s opioid epidemic kills over 50,000 people and costs us nearly $80 billion dollars a year. I support further research into treatments and cures, including vaccines. In the meantime, we need to make it easier for primary care doctors to get training in addiction so they can prescribe lifesaving drugs like suboxone.
It is time to take cannabis off Schedule I. The medical evidence is in, and it’s compelling—the medicine in cannabis can help people with chronic pain and other conditions (such as epilepsy, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s) where a common alternative is addictive, potentially deadly opioids. Cannabis may even help people stop using opioids. In any case, people do not die from using cannabis, but Utah is 9th in the nation for accidental prescription drug overdose deaths. Cannabis could help prevent these deaths, and it should be available to those with a medical need.