The Republican senator has probably spoken up the least about his views on drug policies. A recent statement about the rise in heroin addiction has rubbed many the wrong way however. Rubio stated that the rise in opiate addiction is a call to end the legalization of marijuana. His comment came as a response to a question about legalizing marijuana, so it is not clear how Rubio really stands on the matter. An article from 2015 has Rubio in support of medical marijuana, but he has not spoken much about the matter since his most recent statement.
The Republican candidate has perhaps the most confusing views on addiction and drug policies. He has spoken of addiction as something that is a moral issue, rather than a disease. He believes that securing the border will have a more profound effect on drug addiction in our country.
The Republican candidate has also brought up the issue of border security in relation to drug policy and addiction. His solution is to crack down on immigration. Cruz has also spoken of an older sister that died from an overdose as the result of "foolish decisions" that she made with regards to drugs.
The Republican candidate has had wildly differing views on drug throughout his career. In the 90's he suggested that the legalization of all drugs would be an end to the war on drugs and that all proceeds from sales should be donated to drug education. More recently, Trump has stated that he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana except for medical use. Then soon after this statement, he claimed that the issue of legalization should be left up to each state to decide. When asked about the heroin epidemic, Trump blamed the problem on immigration and the need for a more secure border between the U.S. and Mexico, specifically the need to build an actual wall to keep drugs and immigrants out of the U.S. His statements have enraged Mexican Americans and many others.
The Vermont senator running as a Democratic candidate has become popular among the recovery community for his views on drug policies and addiction. Sanders stated that is it the responsibility of medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies to do something about the opioid abuse epidemic in our country. Sanders has also singled out pharmaceutical companies for their practice of overcharging for certain drugs.
Democratic candidate Clinton has spoken out about the heroin epidemic during campaign visits to New England recently. During town hall meetings in New Hampshire, she announced that she would devise a $10 billion plan to fight addiction if elected to office. Clinton has also clearly stated that she believes addiction is a disease and not a moral problem. Her addiction plan would include training for medical professionals to better recognize the signs of substance abuse and for first response teams in the use naloxone. Clinton also wants a higher priority set for drug treatment programs.
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