Drug Addiction Takes Center Stage 

Presidential candidates come to terms with the real issues confronting the nation.

Bernie Sanders

The progressive left wing senator has been a staunch advocate of a number of threatening initiatives to the conservative establishment and status quo.  Last October at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas he showed fierce support for recreational marijuana as well as mitigated jail sentences for marijuana related offenses.

“I would vote yes because I am seeing too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning young people who are smoking marijuana. I think we have to think through this war on drugs which has done an enormous amount of damage.”

Sander’s candid and sincere approach to people suffering from addiction drew the fervent adulation of pro-legalization supporters as well as his amiable and easygoing disposition.  

Sanders widely considers the war on drugs a dismal defeat that should be reexamined with a discerning eye.  He co-sponsored a new bill aimed at decreasing recidivism among incarcerated drug offenders as well as providing resources for pharmacological drug treatment.

Sanders has also sounded the alarm against big pharma corporations for the exorbitant price of the drug naloxone, marketed as brand Narcan, which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose. Sanders penned an urgent plea to the National Governors Association and National Association of Attorneys General, imploring them to come to an understanding with the states regarding the distribution of naloxone.

In the message Sanders pointed to opioid abuse as a ‘public health emergency’ that must be sufficiently dealt with and no company or business entity should get in the way by gouging inordinate prices for these lifesaving medicines like naloxone.  Bernie Sanders has proven to be a tremendous force in the battle  to decriminalize the senseless war on drugs and impingement upon the civil liberties of the American people.  

Ben Carson

The retired neurosurgeon has taken a somewhat flippant vantage point on drugs reflecting the sentiments of his cohorts Cruz and Trump with relation to tighter border security.  In an interview with Glenn Beck, Carson said he wanted to augment the war on drugs on a federal level.  As if the war on drugs hasn’t been bolstered up enough he would like to turn it up a few degrees.  He remarked emphatically: “Yeah well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s an open highway, and the federal government isn’t doing anything to stop it.”

His take on marijuana is on the same note saying he missed out on the 1960’s hippie movement due to his infatuation with religion and God.  In America the Beautiful he went on to write:

Plenty of hippies and flower children around me smoke pot, used illicit drugs, and engaged in free love as part of that utopian dream.  Because of my love of God and my religious upbringing, I didn’t become involved in sex or drugs, but I still identified strongly with the antiwar protesters and revolutionaries. I was quite unhappy when McGovern was soundly defeated by Nixon in 1972. I was a senior in college at the time and starting to think more about medical school than social justice. [At Yale in the late 1960s], I was proud to see groups such as the Black Panthers standing up to brutal police tactics, and though I never joined any radical student organizations, I kept abreast of the activities of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Weathermen, and other groups willing to use aggressive tactics to accomplish “social justice.  I voted for George McGovern enthusiastically along with multitudes of young people, all of us looking forward to a utopian world of peace & love.”

Furthermore, Carson accredits drug addiction to a lack of integrity and scruples.  According to a CBS Face the Nation interview with Bob Schiffer back in November of last year Carson stated the following:

“Well, there are all kinds of addictions. Usually addictions occur in people who are vulnerable, who are lacking something in their lives. And so we have to really start asking ourselves, what have we taken out of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the very pinnacle of the world? And now let me specifically talk about a type of addiction that’s going on that is very alarming, heroin addictions, because there is a transportation of heroin through our southern borders that is unimaginable. This is not a good thing for us. We need to not give up on this war on drugs and certainly not to facilitate it.”

There is something amiss about Carson, whether it is insincerity or simply intending to pacify his conservative colleagues.  His aggressive and harsh political views are reinforcement of his ineptitude in leading this country out of the turbulence confronted against it by the burden of addiction.

Marco Rubio

The Florida senator has had little off which to draw from with relation to drug policy choosing to eschew the topic than entering lengthy debates. One of his more bewildering platforms with respect to drug policy was attributing the increase in opiate use as a reason to oppose marijuana reform legislation.  Talk about a case of comparing apples to oranges.  

Back in May of last year the Huffington post coverage reported that he contends there is no legitimate use for recreational marijuana saying he thinks legalization of the drug would be “bad for the country.”  

Rubio has attempted to duck the question of whether or not he experienced with marijuana.  He has demonstrated consistent avoidance of the issue altogether saying that his own personal forays into drugs are immaterial to the overarching problem.  It would seem Rubio has no real concern in addressing the problems of drug addiction as revealed by his constant guarded and ambiguous responses on the subject.  

Again it is important to emphasize that regardless of what the candidates say comprises their political platform it is most certainly a completely antithetical to what they really intend on enacting once in office.  It is significant to keep that in mind when dealing with the stick talking politicos who are at the forefront of policy making in America.