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Amy Klobuchar on Drugs

DFL Sr Senator (MN)

 


Opioid manufacturers should help fund treatment

She released a $100 billion plan to combat mental health problems and substance abuse over the next decade. Her plan focuses on prevention, treatment and ongoing recovery. Klobuchar wants a chunk of the money to come from opioid manufacturers for their role in the national epidemic. She co-sponsored a bill that would impose a one-cent tax for each milligram of opioids in a pain pill. The funds for the tax would then be used for substance abuse treatment.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 3, 2019

Use drug courts; diversity in law enforcement

Q: Convictions for non-violent drug crimes impact minorities.

A: I have been a big believer in drug courts at the state and federal levels. I've led that effort on the federal level. The second thing is I think that our offices, both police offices, county attorney's offices need to reflect the population we serve. And I worked very hard to bring people of color into our office and we were a lot better for it. The other thing is the way we handle cases when they come in. The other thing we need to do is not just pass the first step back and I was proud to be a co-sponsor of that legislation. But we have to create incentives to bring those sentences down as well on the state and local level.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back , Apr 22, 2019

Reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders

One of the things that we are starting to resolve is the federal drug sentences. I was a sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act, a co-sponsor. That was the important law that just passed on a bipartisan basis that brought down the federal drug sentences, which were much higher than the local drug sentences for nonviolent offenders. It's called the FIRST STEP Act because there has to be a second step act.
Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 17, 2019

Opioid companies should fund addiction treatment

There is just not enough funding going into addiction. I see it as a money saver in the long haul, because so many times when people get hooked, they end up committing crimes.

Why don't we pay for it by getting money from the very drug companies that got people addicted in the first place? We have a bill right now, the LifeBOAT Act, where we put a fee on those companies that are selling the opioids to help pay for treatment. I'd like to see the Trump administration get behind that.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 18, 2019

More resources to fight the meth epidemic

Minnesota continues to face threats to public safety, especially in the areas of school safety, violent crime, and drug abuse, especially the meth epidemic. At the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, I have made these issues a priority. However, Minnesota’s public safety issues cannot be addressed without support from Congress and the federal government. The priorities in Washington need to change. As your U.S. Senator, here’s what I’ll fight for:
Source: New York Times Election Profiles for 2006 election , Oct 8, 2006

Rated D by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance.

Klobuchar scores D by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2016 NORML scores as follows:

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

NORML is a nonprofit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime.

NORML supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession & responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML website 16_NORML on Nov 8, 2016

Criminalize imports of opioid precursors.

Klobuchar signed criminalizing imports of opioid precursors

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to the President of the European Commission We write to request designating NPP and ANPP, which are precursor chemicals of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, as Table I substances under the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. NPP and ANPP are [legal under EU law but] already controlled in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act. However, without collective international action it will be difficult to control NPP and ANPP, and will frustrate efforts to curb manufacturing and trafficking of illicit fentanyl.

Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Against Drug Prohibition"): People in almost all cultures, in every era, have used psychoactive drugs. A "drug free America" is not a realistic goal, and by criminally banning psychoactive drugs the government has ceded control of potentially dangerous substances to criminals. Instead of trying to stamp out drug use, our government should focus on reducing drug abuse and prohibition-generated crime. This requires a fundamental change in public policy: repeal of criminal prohibition and the creation of a reasonable regulatory system.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Do Restrictions Reduce Opioid Poisonings?", by Jeffrey Miron): Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which record a patient's opioid prescribing history, when required as "must access," PDMPs significantly reduce misuse in Medicare Part D. But there is no statistically significant effect on opioid poisoning incidents. How is this possible? The simplest explanation is that, despite all the hype, prescription opioids are not that dangerous, even in heavy doses, when used under medical supervision. Instead, most poisonings reflect use of diverted prescription opioids, or black market opioids, which may be adulterated. Under this interpretation, restrictions on opioid prescribing might even increase opioid poisonings.

Source: Letter on Fentanyl 17LTR-NPP on Feb 17, 2017

Other candidates on Drugs: Amy Klobuchar on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Jun 03, 2019