State of West Virginia Archives: on Drugs


Stephen Noble Smith: Clear waiting lists for addiction recovery treatment

We must clear the waiting lists. We will invest $80 million over 10 years in start-up costs to establish Recovery Centers regionally across the state. The Board of each Recovery Center will include representation from local first responders, medical professionals, community leaders--and a majority will be people in recovery. We can relieve the burden on first responders and police by getting people with substance use disorder into treatment, instead of prison.
Source: 2020 W.V. Gubernatorial campaign website WVCantWait.com.com Jan 24, 2020

Stephen Noble Smith: Legalize cannabis; expunge drug offenses after 3 years

We support full cannabis legalization, decriminalization, and expungement. For other narcotics, we will push toward downgrading possession crimes from felonies to misdemeanors that would not carry jail time. We also support automatic expungement for all drug offenses after 3 years, and implementation of "Ban the Box" legislation, so that sufferers of substance use disorder are not continuously punished (i.e. blocked from: housing, jobs, food stamps) even after they have served their time.
Source: 2020 W.V. Gubernatorial campaign website WVCantWait.com.com Jan 24, 2020

Woody Thrasher: Substance abuse significant problem in West Virginia

Substance abuse is one of the most significant problems West Virginia faces right now. A successful substance use disorder plan must be realistic, comprehensive and long term. It must include support and treatment for those who decide they are "ready" to avail themselves of treatment and recovery services. We must support local efforts. We also must recognize other illegal substances, such as meth, must be dealt with just as fervently as opioids.
Source: 2020 W.V. Governor campaign website WoodyThrasher2020.com Dec 13, 2019

Jim Justice: Jobs & Hope: $29.7 million to guide people in recovery

Gov. Jim Justice, who is running for re-election last week kicked off the Jobs & Hope program that combines recovery efforts with workforce training. The concept previously had been called "Jim's Dream."

"This started with just a dream," Justice said last week. "We've got drugs affecting every family in this state, one way or another. We have to do something about it."

Jobs & Hope includes $29.7 million in funding for its first year and employs transition agents to guide people in recovery as they overcome obstacles such as transportation and move toward job training.

[Democratic opponent Woody] Thrasher, speaking on MetroNews "Talkline," said the Justice administration has dealt too inconsistently with a pervasive problem. "There is no concerted effort and plan to deal with this problem in West Virginia," Thrasher said. "We have to do better than we're doing.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Michael Folk: Government can't solve drug problem; only community can

Woody Thrasher says the opioid problem is such a crisis that the state should have the option of executing drug dealers whose sales result in death. "I think it should be considered when you look at the havoc they wreak on society," Thrasher said on MetroNews' "Talkline."

Republican candidate Mike Folk, a former state delegate, says government won't solve the problem. "People and the community will," Folk said.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Ron Stollings: Addiction is a disease; integrate recovery into primary care

Woody Thrasher's suggestion of applying capital punishment to drug deals that result in fatalities drew a swift rebuke from state Senator Ron Stollings, a Democrat and doctor who is also running for governor. "I just think it's ridiculous," Stolling said. "We don't have a death penalty in West Virginia. I don't think it would curb a drug deal. These drug dealers are not fazed by punishment or anything like that. A lot of them are addicted also. The definition of addiction means you do crazy stuff. Everybody wants to criminalize addiction and you can't. You have to treat addiction or substance use disorder as a chronic illness."

Stollings and Thrasher each attended a public hearing to roll out a West Virginia Substance Use Response Plan. Stollings emphasized integrating recovery programs into primary care, as well as strengthening services to support children affected by family drug addiction in the first few years of their lives. He also wants to focus on how settlement money is used.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Stephen Noble Smith: Rapidly expand access to drug treatment services

Stephen Smith, a community organizer running as a Democrat, proposes on his website to rapidly expand access to drug treatment services and to focus on providing better access to jobs, housing and food for those facing addiction.

"We are the state that started the American revolution and powered the industrial revolution--we can lead our nation in showing how to solve the opioid and addiction epidemic too," Smith states on his website.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Woody Thrasher: Execute drug dealers whose sales result in death

Woody Thrasher says the opioid problem is such a crisis that the state should have the option of executing drug dealers whose sales result in death. "I think it should be considered when you look at the havoc they wreak on society; we should consider the sternest of all measures," Thrasher said on MetroNews' "Talkline."

The wording in Thrasher's platform is: "In drug crimes that result in death, including the sale of tainted drugs, when the guilt of a person is established beyond a reasonable doubt, we should consider the death penalty." West Virginia abolished capital punishment in 1965.

Thrasher, speaking on "Talkline," said the Justice administration has dealt too inconsistently with a pervasive problem. "Those folks who are selling fentanyl-based things, we've got to come down hard on them, Thrasher said. "We've got to come down with a hammer. There is no concerted effort and plan to deal with this problem in West Virginia," Thrasher said. "We have to do better than we're doing.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Woody Thrasher: Addiction is a disease; but no compassion for dealers

Capital punishment for fatal drug deals is only part of the broader set of proposals Thrasher released. Other proposals include increasing availability of treatment for people who need more than 90 days, providing more support for grandparents raising children and breaking up the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Thrasher emphasized that he believes addiction is a disease that needs to be treated with compassion. But the death penalty proposal stood out as one likely to stir debate.

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2019

Ron Stollings: Establish the Governor's Office of Substance Abuse

Stollings, a medical doctor, said he would establish the Governor's Office of Substance Abuse to focus on the impact of the opioid crisis. "How do we know how much we should receive in settlement dollars if we don't know how much prevention and treatment programs will cost? This should be an effort coordinated by the Governor, in the Governor's Office," Stollings said in a news release.

Stollings said, during an appearance on MetroNews "Talkline," the state will continue to struggle to move forward until the opioid crisis is brought under control. "I do have potential input to right the ship here in West Virginia," Stollings said. "I'm uniquely qualified with regard to the substance use disorder and its impact on businesses, the economy and the education system."

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Sep 23, 2019

Jim Justice: Three-pronged attack to go after the drug runners

Source: 2016 W.V. governor campaign website JusticeForWV.com Nov 16, 2015

Jim Justice: Support the expansion of drug courts

Jim will support increased access to drug and alcohol treatment programs for people who need them. He'll be compassionate, but firm with those addicted to drugs by offering them support services if they turn over their drugs to authorities in exchange for help and agree to monitored sobriety. Justice supports the expansion of drug courts, and will work with local communities to help those who desperately want to make a change.
Source: 2016 W.V. governor campaign website JusticeForWV.com Nov 16, 2015

John Buckley: Supports the legalization of marijuana

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Never legalize marijuana"?

A: I oppose the statement. I favor the legalization of marijuana.

Source: Email interview on 2014 W.V. Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 5, 2014

Earl Ray Tomblin: If you get high, you won't get hired--Drugs aren't working

For over 40 years this country has wrestled with drug abuse. This is more than a social problem, it's an economic problem. Too many people who can't pass a drug test go somewhere else--somewhere where they don't test--somewhere where it doesn't matter.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to W.V. Legislature Feb 13, 2013

Earl Ray Tomblin: Substance abuse re-offenders cause prison overcrowding

It's no secret that West Virginia's correctional system is overextended. Statistics now show the number of people in our prisons is increasing at three times the national average. Last year, I brought together State and local leaders and research professionals as part of an effort to find a solution to our outdated and overcrowded prison system.

The Council of State Governments has succeeded in increasing public safety and reducing recidivism in states like Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I asked them to help me construct a plan--keeping public safety as our number one priority. What we learned was simple: substance abuse is a huge part of prison overcrowding, and the high re-offending rate intensifies the problem.

We must act now to address these challenges. We must work to increase public safety and reduce habitual offenders. Their recommendations are projected to save the State of West Virginia over $116 million over the next six years while making West Virginia a safer place.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to W.V. Legislature Feb 13, 2013

  • The above quotations are from State of West Virginia Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
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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)
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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)
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