Drug Abuse and the 2016 Presidential Election

family in field at sunset

Hillary Clinton 

As we get closer to the Presidential Election of 2016, a new policy for America’s growing drug addiction is at the forefront of many town hall meetings’ concerns with Americans on the campaign trail. As the issue is unlikely to fade as candidates head into states like California, Texas and Florida, it is encouraging to see that a plan of action in response to the drug epidemic across America is becoming a vital component of the 2016 presidential election. Read on to see where the frontrunner candidates stand on drug abuse and drug policy.

Clinton has stated that drug abuse and dependency is “a disease, not a moral failing, and should be treated as such.” Last September, she proposed a $10 billion plan to fight opioid abuse and make the heroin overdose antidote Nalaxone more widely available to first responders. The plan was a result of collecting thoughts, experiences and suggestions from voters nationwide, through Google hangouts and Facebook chats. Clinton’s goal would be to emphasize treatment over incarceration for those struggling with abuse and addiction.

Ted Cruz

According to a report at The Fix, Ted Cruz has tied the substance abuse problem at least in part to border control problems between the U.S. and Mexico. He has said that by cracking down on illegal immigration in the U.S., the availability of illicit drugs would be reduced as well. Cruz has also begun to talk on the campaign trail about how drug dependency is a personal issue for him, after losing his older sister Mirium to a drug overdose.

Marco Rubio

Rubio has been less vocal on the subject of substance abuse than many of his fellow candidates. However, the Florida senator has spoken about his opposition to the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. In May 2014, Rubio told Yahoo News, “The bottom line is, I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country. I understand there are people that have different views on it, but I feel strongly about that.” Rubio has also spoken about how the U.S. has paid a “terrible price” for the abuse of alcohol.

Bernie Sanders
Sanders has stated he supports legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes at the state level. He has also proposed legislation to remove marijuana from federal schedules so states would have full authority on how the substance would be regulated. The legislation would also allow marijuana businesses to gain additional privileges not currently allowed due to the federal laws against marijuana use. On the other hand, Sanders has asserted that there needs to be a crackdown on prescription opiates in the U.S. to prevent dependency on these drugs.

Donald Trump
Trump’s position on drug policy has fluctuated significantly over the years. However, since his background is not in politics, it is possible he has not seriously weighed this issue until more recently after throwing his hat into the political ring. To date, Trump has stated that legalization of marijuana should be an issue of the states. His solution to the heroin epidemic, like Cruz, has been to tighten up the Mexican border and crack down on illegal immigration.

There are many issues facing our country this political season, but drug abuse and addiction are issues affecting more than 40% of Americans and their families. At Simple Recovery, we see the far-reaching effects of drug abuse on individuals and families every single day. To learn more, or find out about getting treatment for chemical dependency, contact Simple Recovery at 888-743-0490.