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Andrew Yang on Drugs

Democratic Presidential Challenger & Tech CEO

 


Would override resistance to overdose prevention centers

Yang touted his support for OPCs on the national level. He also described community resistance to the sites but said he would override that as mayor. "The purpose of everything we do should be to save lives," he said. "To some extent this has been a political issue because people are not excited about having OPCs in their neighborhood, but people wouldn't object to having a hospital in their neighborhood. And this to me has this same purpose."
Source: Queens Eagle on 2021 NYC Mayoral race , Mar 18, 2021

Take opioid profits and funnel them into treatment

I've heard heartbreaking stories from families here in New Hampshire that have been destroyed, torn apart by the opioid epidemic and you have to look at the companies that profited to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in profits of essentially blood money. As President, we will take back those profits and put them to work right here in New Hampshire so that if you are seeking treatment, you have resources to be able to pursue it.
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

Safe injection centers & safe treatment centers for opioids

The government allowed this opioid epidemic to spread and we have to do everything in our power to make sure that if you are seeking treatment, you're not going to be sent to jail. We have safe injection and safe consumption sites for you. If you have a family member who's struggling, you can refer them and know that they're not going to have criminal penalties as a result.
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

Take billions from drug companies to fix opioid crisis

This opioid epidemic is a plague that our government facilitated, essentially. Purdue Pharma dispensed millions of OxyContin prescriptions, marketing as a non-addictive wonder drug, to the point where there were more opiate prescriptions in the state of Ohio than there were human beings in the state of Ohio, at one point. And our government signed off on that and said "that's okay."

So the question is: How are you going to help your people actually get off of these drugs? First you have to get back all the blood money from Purdue Pharma and the other drug companies. Take all the billions of dollars away and say "This is going to be a down-payment on treatment."

The second thing you have to do is say to our people, "Look, this is not an individual failing; this is a plague that our government essentially helped happen. It's a plague of hyper-capitalism run amok. And if we catch you struggling with drugs, we are going to refer you to counseling and treatment and not to a prison cell."

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of 2020 N. H. primary , Feb 5, 2020

Jail for dealers; treatment for addicts

If they're a dealer; if they're profiting, they go straight to jail. But if they are struggling with addiction, they should not be heading to jail. They should be heading to counseling and treatment. And we should have safe injection sites so that, if someone actually is trying to recover, they have some place they can go.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: Presidential/NYC Mayoral race , Feb 5, 2020

Explore allowing therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms

Yang says the U.S. should loosen its ban on psychedelic mushrooms. "We should explore making psilocybin mushrooms legal for medical and therapeutic use particularly for veterans," he tweeted after meeting with a veteran who told him that the psychedelic substance is the "only treatment he found effective for his depression after returning home."

"We should pursue this - anything that makes people stronger and healthier should be more freely available," the candidate said.

Source: Forbes magazine on 2019 Democratic primary , Dec 16, 2019

Create safe opioid injection sites to prevent overdoses

I would not only decriminalize opioids for personal use, but I would also invest in safe consumption sites around the country. I was talking to a paramedic in New Hampshire who talked about if you saved an addict one week, you'd be back saving that same addict the following week because after you're caught with a drug, there's no place for you to go.
Source: Breitbart.com blog on 2019 Democratic primary , Dec 3, 2019

Fines and judgements to fund treatment of opioid crisis

Andrew's first step is to decriminalize personal use amounts of opioids so that individuals can be referred to treatment instead of arrested and placed in jail. After that, utilizing fines and judgments against the companies that created this epidemic, we should fund treatment centers and give everyone who needs it access. The government was complicit in this, and so Andrew believes we have a moral duty to address it.
Source: USA Today on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 7, 2019

Decriminalize small opiate possession, safe injection sites

Part of helping people get the treatment that they need is to let them know that they're not going to be referred to a prison cell, they will be referred to treatment and counseling. We need to decriminalize opiates for personal use. Then we need to open up safe consumption and safe injection sites around the country because they save lives.
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Decriminalize opiates & marijuana, but not cocaine

Q: What about legalizing pot?

A: If we just catch you with a quantity that suggests that you're just using it personally, then instead of referring you to a jail cell, we refer you to treatment. We need to decriminalize opiates for personal use. I'm also for the legalization of cannabis. We need to remove that from the federal controlled substance.

Q: What about cocaine?

A: Cocaine would not be on the list of substances I would engage in this, because the addiction has very different features.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Legalize marijuana; pardon marijuana-related offenses

Marijuana legalization: Yang pledged to legalize marijuana and pardon all non-violent drug related offenses, then later clarified in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that he would only pardon marijuana-related offenses. Yang said he would still decriminalize opioids.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , Apr 7, 2019

Pardon non-violent drug offenders, focusing on marijuana

[VIDEO CLIP]: YANG: And I would pardon everyone who's in jail for a non-violent drug related offense. I would pardon them all on April 20th, 2021 and I would high five them on the way out of jail. [END CLIP]

Q: That include cocaine dealers, opioid dealers?

YANG: I would decriminalize opioids, but in that particular segment I was referring to marijuana related drug offenses specifically

Q: So only marijuana, not all non-violent drug offenders.

YANG: Yes, that's correct.

Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , Apr 7, 2019

Drug companies and medical system produces opioid addicts

Over 2 million Americans are dependent on opioids, and an additional 95 million used prescription painkillers in the past year--more than used tobacco.

People often think of opioid addiction as originating with prescription painkiller use. OxyContin hit the market in 1996 as a "wonder drug," and Purdue Pharma, which was fined $635 million in 2007 for misbranding the drug and downplaying the possibility of addiction, sold $1.1 billion of painkillers on 2000. An army of drug dealers in suits marketed addictive opioids to doctors, getting paid thousands to do it.

Now many opioid users have graduated to heroin. One common pattern of addiction is that people use prescription painkillers for pain relief or recreationally as a party drug--they grind them up and sniff them for a euphoric high that lasts for hours.

Our drug companies and medical system have produced hundreds of thousands of opioid addicts who are now heroin users buying from dealers. Heroin dealers have become ubiquitous.

Source: The War on Normal People, by Andrew Yang, p.135-6 , Apr 2, 2019

Drug companies and medical system produces opioid addicts

Over 2 million Americans are dependent on opioids, and an additional 95 million used prescription painkillers in the past year--more than used tobacco.

People often think of opioid addiction as originating with prescription painkiller use. OxyContin hit the market in 1996 as a "wonder drug," and Purdue Pharma, which was fined $635 million in 2007 for misbranding the drug and downplaying the possibility of addiction, sold $1.1 billion of painkillers on 2000. An army of drug dealers in suits marketed addictive opioids to doctors, getting paid to do it.

Now many opioid users have graduated to heroin. One common pattern of addiction is that people use prescription painkillers for pain relief or recreationally as a party drug--they grind them up and sniff them for a euphoric high that lasts for hours.

Our drug companies and medical system have produced hundreds of thousands of opioid addicts who are now heroin users buying from dealers. Heroin dealers have become ubiquitous.

Source: The War on Normal People, by Andrew Yang, p.135-6 , Apr 2, 2019

War on Drugs has not worked: treatment instead of punishment

Opioid addiction is rampant in our country. In 2016, more than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids and 2.1 million had an addiction to heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids. This is a public health crisis, and the top priority has to be getting Americans well. Many Americans are not seeking treatment because they are afraid of life-destroying criminal penalties. We need to remove the stigma of an addiction that literally millions of Americans are struggling with. The War on Drugs has not worked. We need to give more American families and communities a real chance to get well, and we need to evolve from a punitive approach that does not serve the public. If you are caught with a small amount of drugs, we should refer you straight to treatment, not a prison cell.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Full legalization of marijuana; expunge federal convictions

I don't love marijuana. I'd rather people not use it heavily. But it's vastly safer than people becoming addicted to opiates like heroin. And our criminalization of it seems stupid and racist, particularly now that it's legal in some states. We should proceed with full legalization of marijuana and pardon those in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses. It's a safer, less addictive means to manage pain for many Americans.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Decriminalize small quantities of opioid use and possession

Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

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Other big-city mayors on Drugs: Andrew Yang on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: May 14, 2021