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Mike Pence on Drugs

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)

 


Indiana will be tough on narcotics and drug dealers

Mike Pence is questioning legislation that dramatically decreases penalties involving pot, even for entry-level drug offenses. Pence has questioned if that's the right move. "I think this legislation, as it moves forward, should still seek to continue to send a way strong message to the people of Indiana and particularly to those who would come into our state to deal drugs, that we are tough and we're going to stay tough on narcotics.
Source: Indiana Economic Digest on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , Jul 16, 2016

Confront the growing epidemic of drug abuse

We must support new ways to confront the growing epidemic of drug abuse and addiction. Let's pass stiffer penalties on those who sell these poisons to our kids. But we cannot just arrest our way out of this problem. We have to make sure families have more options for treatments. Two new laws will help: Aaron's Law allows healthcare providers to make an antidote for opioid overdoses available, and The Jennifer Act allows Medicaid to cover inpatient detoxification.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature , Jan 12, 2016

Signed legislation allowing needle exchange

Officials report the HIV outbreak has mainly been fueled by individuals sharing needles used to inject prescription painkillers. John Gregg finds Gov. Pence's initial hesitation to address the issue troublesome. Pence signed legislation in May which allowed the installation of a needle-exchange program, but by that time, the number of infected people already had reached 150.

"You know, that's asinine," Gregg said. "I mean, we've got to realize there's a drug problem. And to say that we would not do a needle exchange, that's irresponsible. They're going to be using the drugs, and we might as well see to it that that's a great way to stop the HIV virus. His attitude on that is akin to people who don't want to talk about sex education because if we don't talk about it, then, you know, the kids won't be procreating. I mean, how do you think we all got here?"

Source: Kokomo Tribune on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race , Sep 24, 2015

Do not legalize: pot is a gateway drug

In late March 2013, in response to Gov. Pence's criticism of legislation that rewrites Indiana's criminal code to lower drug penalties, a Senate committee amended the criminal code reform bill to make punishment for marijuana crimes tougher than the legislation's Republican authors had originally proposed. House Bill 1006 supporters say the intent of the bill is divert drug users out of state prisons and into treatment programs, while reserving the prisons for the worst offenders. Pence waited till mid-March to weigh in on House Bill 1006 and did so at a press briefing with TV and radio reporters, telling them, "I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties."

During a 2012 gubernatorial debate in Zionsville, Gov. Mike Pence said he opposed any marijuana law reforms and viewed marijuana as a "gateway" drug. His Democrat opponent John Gregg generally agreed, but added that medical marijuana would be worth studying.

Source: Howey politics on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , Sep 8, 2015

I don't support legalization of marijuana

Q: Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. Big pot of money there with taxes--is this is something you'd consider?

PENCE: No.

Q: Why not?

PENCE: Well, I don't support legalization of marijuana and that's been my position for a long time and will continue to be.

Q: Has the National Governors Association considered the state revenue implications?

PENCE: There is some common ground that you see at the National Governors Association and it's the focus that Gov. Mary Fallin and others placed on workforce development. Here in Indiana, we've initiated an effort to make career and vocational education a priority in every high school. And at the National Governors Association, it seems to be a recurring theme that making sure that we have not only the best educated, but the best skilled workforce as a pathway toward higher wages. It's a pathway toward a growing economy and it's a pathway toward a real renewal of the industrial Midwest.

Source: 2014 CNN "State of the Union" interview of Mike Pence , Feb 23, 2014

Voted YES on more funding for Mexico to fight drugs.

Congressional Summary:Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act:
    Provide assistance for Mexico for:
  1. counternarcotics and countertrafficking;
  2. port & airport security to assist in controlling the Mexico-US and Mexico-Central America borders;
  3. intelligence gathering operational technology; and
  4. public security and law enforcement, including assistance to the National Council Against Addiction (CONADIC).

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): The drug crisis facing the US remains a top national security threat. This bill represents a new partnership with Mexico and Central American countries to face the immediate security threat of drug gangs, and help these neighbors build the capacity of their law enforcement agencies.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHAEL McCAUL (R, TX-10): We need a strategy on this side of the border: a two-pronged Approach; a comprehensive strategy that deals not only with the Mexican side but with the US side. And for too long, our border sheriffs and our Border Patrol agents have been outmanned and outgunned. And if we are going to provide assistance to Mexico, it seems to me we ought to be providing assistance to our men and women on our side fighting this war every day.

Rep. TED POE (R, TX-2): I am concerned about drugs and violence on the border, but I am also concerned about corruption. In order to gain control of access corridors in the US, drug cartels are hiring hit men from an elite force in Mexico's military. This group is known as the "Zetas." Some of the Zetas are military deserters that may have been trained in the US. $1 billion in this bill would go to Mexico. And Mexico in its arrogance objects to any conditions we want to put on this money. The administration can offer us no assurance that our equipment and training won't be used against us and neither can Mexico.

Reference: Merida Initiative; Bill HR.6028 ; vote number 2008-H393 on Jun 10, 2008

Voted YES on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism.

Amendment to set up a task force on counter-terrorism and drug interdiction and allow military personnel to help patrol U.S. borders.
Bill HR 2586 ; vote number 2001-356 on Sep 25, 2001

Rated -20 by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance.

Pence scores -20 by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 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 06n-NORML on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 25% by NORML, indicating an anti-legalization stance.

Pence scores 25% National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law

Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (opposes all forms of marijuana decriminalization) to 75% (supports marijuana decriminalization and legalization).

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. 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 rating on incumbents of 113th Congress 14_NORML on Jan 1, 2014

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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016