State of Massachusetts secondary Archives: on Drugs


Charlie Baker: Led the nation in responding to warning signs for vaping

We led the nation in responding to the growing body of evidence concerning this relatively new activity. As the warning signs of sudden illness, injury, and death here in Massachusetts and across the country became clear, we acted. Together we moved quickly to protect our teens and adults. And today we have the most comprehensive legal framework in the country to oversee and regulate this untested, and potentially dangerous, activity.
Source: 2020 Massachusetts State of the State address Jan 21, 2020

Charlie Baker: Four pillars: prevention, education, treatment and recovery

On opioid addiction we've made great progress. But we didn't get into this crisis overnight and we won't get out of it overnight either. This Legislature enacted two major bills that build on our four pillars of reform: prevention, education, treatment and recovery.

Today, we're one of a handful of states that can say that overdose deaths have dropped since 2017. There are interventions and policy changes that have worked and others that show promise. We also added initiatives like credentialed recovery coaches that will be coming online throughout 2019 and beyond.

Dealing with opioid addiction is enormously difficult. Relapse is an inevitable part of the story. Helping people avoid becoming addicted in the first place remains a challenge. And defusing the presence of fentanyl, which is now present in 90% of all drug overdose deaths, is an enormous challenge.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) Jan 3, 2019

Lori Trahan: Substance abuse culture must change: promote rehabilitation

We need to change the culture around substance use and promote rehabilitation. Lori wants to empower communities to enact programs that teach adolescents about drug use and addiction across the state of Massachusetts. Lori believes we need to step up and provide more federal dollars to support prevention, treatment, and transitional programs. Destigmatize substance use disorder treatment. Prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over incarceration for low-level and nonviolent drug offenses.
Source: 2018 Massachusetts 3rd House campaign website LoriTrahan.com Oct 9, 2018

Joe Kennedy III: Concerns with marijuana legalization: take a deep breath

Massachusetts has been at the forefront of the pro-marijuana movement. But "this one is a tough one for me, because my views do not exactly line up with my own state, and it's something that I'm struggling with," Kennedy said.

Kennedy says it's his job to "take a deep breath". "One of my main focuses in Congress is on mental health and addiction and there are a number of voices in that community that do pose serious questions about either the decriminalization or legalization efforts,"

Source: Boston Globe on 2020 Massachusetts Senate race Mar 8, 2018

Heidi Wellman: Marijuana isn't a gateway drug

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Marijuana is a gateway drug"?

A: NO

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Massachusetts Senate candidate Mar 7, 2018

John Kingston: Focus on opioid crisis instead of divisive rhetoric

During an interview at the Daily News office, Kingston, 52, a businessman, activist and political newcomer, said he would restore bipartisanship efforts in Congress to get lawmakers focused on issues such as immigration policy, the opioid crisis and crumbling infrastructure instead of divisive rhetoric.

"What I want is an America in which we can have disagreements and points of view, but we are not tearing each other down or tearing the fabric of American life apart by virtue of our prejudice," he said.

Described as an independent-minded Republican, Kingston, of Winchester, came to Massachusetts by way of Connecticut. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School, the father of four worked in investment management, primarily at Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., or AMG, as general counsel and later vice chairman.

Kingston is also a self-described social entrepreneur, advocating for issues such as freedom of speech on school campuses and veteran services.

Source: Milford Daily News on 2018 Massachusetts Senate race Feb 1, 2018

Charlie Baker: Reduce opioid prescribing and drive Fentanyl off our streets

We began in the midst of an opioid crisis in which deaths, overdoses and prescriptions had been growing by double digits for more than a decade. It was the worst case of negative momentum I'd ever seen. Today, with your help and support, we've reduced opioid prescribing by 29%. And overdose deaths have dropped for the first time in over a decade by 10%. In addition, we have to deal with Fentanyl. Fentanyl was present in less than 30% of overdose deaths in 2014 but was present in more than 80% of overdose deaths in 2017. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are working this issue hard. But we have more to do to drive this deadly drug off our streets.

A bipartisan fentanyl bill that makes it easier to arrest and convict dealers and traffickers is in your hands. I ask you to enact it as soon as possible.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Massachusetts legislature Jan 23, 2018

Setti Warren: End mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes

Criminal Justice Reform: Opposition to Gov. Baker's proposal for new mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes: Commonwealth Magazine: "Gov. Baker's proposal to incarcerate more people in response to the opioid epidemic runs contrary to everything we've learned in the failed war on drugs, and to Baker's own 2014 campaign promises," said Warren, the mayor of Newton. "Mandatory minimum sentences do not make our communities safer and they do not reduce illegal drug use. Those are facts."
Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 20, 2017

Bob Massie: End mandatory minimums for low level drug offenses

Particularly happy to see an end to mandatory minimums for low level drug offenses and stricter requirements for race and ethnic data collection of those arrested. Now let's hope that @CharlieBakerMA doesn't block common sense reform and keep laws that harm our communities. We need more action like this if we want to see a fairer justice system.
Source: Twitter.com posting on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 15, 2017

Setti Warren: Combat opioid addiction by funding treatment

Setti Warren is calling on the Republican governor to release money for Amherst's homeless shelter, which he argues is pivotal for confronting the opioid crisis and combating addictions. Warren expressed concern for the decision by Gov. Charlie Baker to freeze the $200,000 earmark for the Craig's Place shelter: "Programs like Craig's Place, and so many others across the state, will be essential to solving the opioids problem," Warren said. "If we don't have the money for these kinds of programs, we should raise the revenue to fund them."

The decision was based on questions about whether there is sufficient money in the state budget. "Since it is the only shelter that does not require sobriety, the staff and volunteers at Craig's Place are also on the front lines of fighting the growing opioid epidemic," Warren said. The governor, he added, should be providing help, not hindering the work and putting the shelter into a state of emergency for no good reason.

Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 15, 2017

Charlie Baker: Legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts by 2020

Gov. Charlie Baker today signed the marijuana compromise bill sent to him last week by the Legislature, setting the stage for creation of the regulatory structure to oversee legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts.

This legislative outcome means that by January 2020, Massachusetts will be the only state in the country where all bans on adult-use marijuana businesses will require approval by local voters.

The compromise bill's most significant changes relate to local control and taxes. The legislation adjusts the local control policy, allowing local government officials in towns that voted "no" on the 2016 ballot initiative to ban marijuana businesses until December 2019. For towns that voted "yes" in 2016, any bans must be placed on a local ballot for voters to approve. The maximum sales tax rate (which depends on whether towns adopt optional local taxes) will increase from 12% to 20%. Under the bill, the state tax will be 17% and the local option will be 3%.

Source: MPP.org on 2018 Massachusetts Gubernatorial race Jul 28, 2017

Ayanna Pressley: When pot is legalized, licensing needs to be fair

[Asked about marijuana legalization]: "We've seen things in California, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, and they do everything from you need to present a diversity hiring plan, set asides, 20 percent of tax revenue going to residency all these different pieces, however no one has gotten equity right," she added. "This is an opportunity for us to establish a blueprint."
Source: WGBH 89.7 FM Radio on 2018 Massachusetts 7th House race Jul 9, 2017

Geoff Diehl: Voted NO on recreational marijuana

Legislative Summary:H.3768 allows possession, cultivation, and personal use of marijuana; allows patients with a debilitating medical condition to purchase marijuana. Establishes the Cannabis Control Commission to issue marijuana licenses. Legislative Outcome:Roll call #71 passed House 126-28-6; Geoff Diehl voted NAY
Source: Massachusetts voting records: H.3768 Jun 21, 2017

Bob Massie: Supports legal marijuana from local businesses

Marijuana businesses and sales [should be] in the hands of local communities and local businesses, as opposed to having some Walmart of dope come in and set up a huge corporate structure that then takes all the money and benefit out of Massachusetts. What often happens is, a wonderful new opportunity comes along, and a big company comes in and occupies most of the sales, and therefore the long-term economic benefits of the revenues and even of the wages go out of state. I think that's a mistake.
Source: WGBH Boston Public Radio on 2018 Massachusetts governor race May 18, 2017

Jay Gonzalez: Support addicts and get them on a path to recovery

Q: If you're elected, how might you address the opioid crisis?

A: This is a huge crisis in our state. It is ruining people's lives. It is tearing families apart. When I was CEO of my health insurance company, (CeltiCare Health) the biggest health problem that people my company served faced was addiction. It was the biggest cause of hospitalizations, drug costs, everything. So we really focused on what can we do differently to help support our members who are suffering from addiction and get them on a path to recovery. There's no silver bullet solution, but we're not doing nearly enough right now. We need to invest in the treatment and support system so that we've got the capacity to address the demand. Part of what's happening is there aren't enough of the right treatment facilities for people to access when they need them, depending on the type of treatment they need when they're in recovery, so they're dropping out and falling off of recovery.

Source: Wicked Local Marshfield on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Apr 21, 2017

Jay Gonzalez: Ok to tweak marijuana law, but the people have spoken

Q: Where do you stand on the legalization of recreational marijuana, and how the legislation will roll out?

A: The people have spoken and we have an obligation as a state to implement the law as passed by the voters. I think we need to implement it thoughtfully, though. We need to keep public safety at the forefront. I do think there's a role for the legislature to play now to review the law and make tweaks to those ends, but I think they need to do it as quickly as they can while maintaining the fundamental premise that was passed by voters.

Q: There's been some discussion about how much control local officials will have over allowing recreational marijuana in their own community. Do you support local communities having more or less control?

A: My personal feeling is that localities should have some level of control, but I would be deferential to whatever the ballot question that was passed says on that point.

Source: Wicked Local Marshfield on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Apr 21, 2017

Allen Waters: Demand for drugs by whites is putting more blacks in jail

Allen Waters, who is running as an independent, says demand for drugs by whites leads to incarceration of blacks. "White doctors overprescribing. White junkies over-desiring. White lawman testifying. Black dealers a'lying. Cycle no denying," Waters posted on his Twitter feed in reaction to a time story about the raids. Referring to the Tweet as a "ditty," Waters said he was drawing attention to the incarceration of blacks, even here in Cape Cod, that is driven by white demand for drugs.
Source: Cape Cod Times on 2018 Massachusetts Senate race Apr 12, 2016

Charlie Baker: Vigorously oppose recreational marijuana but medical pot ok

Governor-elect Charlie Baker pledged to "vigorously oppose" the legalization of recreational marijuana, even as he plans to move forward with the implementation of medical marijuana.

Supporters of legalized marijuana have already started laying the foundation for a 2016 ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Similar ballot questions passed in Colorado and Washington in 2012.

Baker, asked about the issue in an interview with The Republican/MassLive.com in Boston on Monday, said, "I'm going to oppose that and I'm going to oppose that vigorously, with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community."

Baker, a Republican, said many people dealing with addiction believe marijuana use is a "significant first step" toward addiction to other drugs. "There's a ton of research out there at this point that says, especially for young people, it's just plain bad," Baker said.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race Nov 12, 2014

Charlie Baker: Get dispensaries open for medical marijuana

[On medical marijuana], Baker declined to comment on his next steps regarding the licensing process or the provisional licenses granted by the administration of outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick. Baker said he needs to learn more about where the process sits today and about the pending legal challenges. He reiterated comments he made on the campaign trail that he is disappointed the administration did not consult with experts in pain and cancer treatment.

Baker indicated that he will move forward with trying to get the dispensaries open. "I think waiting is a bad idea. There are clearly people who are looking for Massachusetts to get its act together and move forward on this," Baker said.

Baker also stressed his commitment to addressing opiate addiction--which has become a big issue over the last year after a spate of overdose deaths in Massachusetts. The state legislature passed a comprehensive bill aimed at addressing drug addiction by requiring insurers to cover substance abuse treatment.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race Nov 12, 2014

Don Berwick: Rollout of medical marijuana was a management fiasco

All five candidates also agreed that Massachusetts was on the "right track" after eight years with Gov. Deval Patrick at the helm, but didn't hesitate to describe the rollout of medical marijuana as "fiascos" and management failures of his administration.

All five candidates said they would prefer to wait and see how the medical marijuana experiment in Massachusetts and the new legalization laws in Washington and Colorado work before deciding on legalized marijuana.

Source: WWLP 22-News on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate Jun 10, 2014

Karyn Polito: Voted NO on earmark for women's substance abuse program

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in Part VI: Safety & Justice:Crime Prevention. [State Rep. Polito, a Republican, voted NO].

Vote on veto override of Section 88 of the FY2004 appropriations. The appropriation in House bill No. 4330 earamrks at least $99,925 for the "Latinos y Ninos" program which addresses the needs of Latino women in substance abuse recovery. The governor's veto message (No. 4365), said "I am vetoing this section because it unnecessarily earmarks the use of funds at the Department of Public Health."

Relevant platform section:Part VI: Safety & Justice: Crime Prevention: "We support increased efforts to work with troubled young people and we support the development of secure substance abuse treatment facilities for adolescents and women."

Source citation: Veto Override, Sec. 88 ; vote number 520

Source: Massachusetts House voting record via MassScorecard.org Feb 10, 2004

Marty Walsh: Voted NO on earmark for women's substance abuse program

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in Part VI: Safety & Justice:Crime Prevention. [State Rep. Walsh voted NO].

Vote on veto override of Section 88 of the FY2004 appropriations. The appropriation in House bill No. 4330 earamrks at least $99,925 for the "Latinos y Ninos" program which addresses the needs of Latino women in substance abuse recovery. The governor's veto message (No. 4365), said "I am vetoing this section because it unnecessarily earmarks the use of funds at the Department of Public Health."

Relevant platform section:Part VI: Safety & Justice: Crime Prevention: "We support increased efforts to work with troubled young people and we support the development of secure substance abuse treatment facilities for adolescents and women."

Source citation: Veto Override, Sec. 88 ; vote number 520

Source: Massachusetts House voting record via MassScorecard.org Feb 10, 2004

Scott Brown: Voted NO on earmark for women's substance abuse program

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in Part VI: Safety & Justice:Crime Prevention. [State Senator Brown, a Republican, voted NO].

Vote on veto override of Section 88 of the FY2004 appropriations. The appropriation in House bill No. 4330 earamrks at least $99,925 for the "Latinos y Ninos" program which addresses the needs of Latino women in substance abuse recovery. The governor's veto message (No. 4365), said "I am vetoing this section because it unnecessarily earmarks the use of funds at the Department of Public Health."

Relevant platform section:Part VI: Safety & Justice: Crime Prevention: "We support increased efforts to work with troubled young people and we support the development of secure substance abuse treatment facilities for adolescents and women."

Source citation: Veto Override, Sec. 88 ; vote number 520

Source: Massachusetts House voting record via MassScorecard.org Feb 10, 2004

Carla Howell: Be scared of the Drug War more than scared of drugs

Q: The idea that drugs would be legal scares a lot of people. Why should it not scare them?

A: The War on Drugs is destroying neighborhoods and ruining families. Drug Prohibition makes it obscenely profitable to push drugs on our children. I encourage parents to find out the consequences of specific illegal drugs and tell their kids the truth: these drugs can ruin your health and your life. Everyone should be frightened of the war on drugs. Itís been a terrible failure.

Source: Eric Darbe, Massachusetts News Jan 5, 2000

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 26, 2021