Tom Vilsack on Drugs

Democratic IA Governor


A long-time champion of hemp, supported during first tenure

[On marijuana]: "Vilsack is a long-time champion of hemp, and we cherished our strong working relationship during his previous stint in that position," Jonathan Miller, the general counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, said. "We are incredibly optimistic that he will help provide the leadership and clarity necessary to unlock opportunity in the hemp industry." Miller points to the USDA's efforts to support hemp during Vilsack's first tenure as secretary as one reason for optimism.
Source: HempGrower.com blog on Biden Transition , Dec 9, 2020

$51.4 million for opioid abuse clinics in rural communities

President Obama asked me to lead an interagency effort focused on heroin and prescription opioids in rural America, a role I was humbled to accept. This issue is very personal to me. Growing up with a mother who struggled with alcohol and prescription drug addiction for much of my childhood, it wasn't until I saw her recover with treatment that I saw addiction for what it is: a disease, not a character flaw. This disease isn't a personal choice, and it can't be cured by willpower alone. It requires responses from whole communities, access to medical treatment, and an incredible amount of support.

To me, our mandate is clear: don't judge, just help. I recently announced the availability of $1.4 million through USDA's Rural Health and Safety Education grant program, which we are expanding this year to support outreach to prevent opioid abuse in rural communities. In 2013, I made a commitment to provide up to $50 million in Community Facilities funds for these types of facilities.

Source: Obama Cabinet: USDA.gov press release: 2016 Veepstakes , Mar 30, 2016

Cannabis one of the most valuable commodities in agriculture

The legal marijuana industry received support from the Vilsack and former President Bill Clinton. Vilsack said that cannabis has become one of the most valuable commodities in American agriculture. Vilsack called attention to the lack of things that can be planted in urban areas. He met with a farmer who showed him some specialty commodities he was growing for local restaurants and grocery stores. The farmer said that an acre of this crop could sell for a million dollars.
Source: Technical420.com blog on Obama Cabinet , Jun 11, 2015

Notes the revenue potential of an acre of marijuana

Former President Bill Clinton and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack may have unintentionally added themselves to the growing list of pot-supporting politicians. Vilsack said that while visiting Milwaukee, a friend showed him "greens," an acre of which could fetch $1 million. "With the exception of Colorado and a few other states that have legalized another product, there are not very many commodities that you can plant an acre of and get a million bucks" he said.
Source: CNN coverage of 2016 Veepstakes: "Bill Clinton Weed" , Dec 15, 2011

Reduced supply of dangerous drugs

But leadership will require courage - the courage to change. Working together, we’ve achieved much in the past. We’ve reduced class sizes in the early grades, improving opportunities for basic skill learning. We’ve begun to make our communities safer by reducing the supply of dangerous drugs like meth.
Source: Condition of the State speech to the Legislature , Jan 9, 2001

More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War.

Vilsack adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-13: Combating and Controlling Substance Abuse 00-NGA2 on Aug 15, 2000

Other candidates on Drugs: Tom Vilsack on other issues:
Incoming 2021 Biden Administration:
Defense:Lloyd Austin
State/Luxembourg:Tom Barrett
HHS:Xavier Becerra
Pres.:Joe Biden
State:Antony Blinken
DOT:Pete Buttigieg
State/Japan:Rahm Emanuel
State/Turkey:Jeff Flake
HUD:Marcia Fudge
State/India:Eric Garcetti
Attorney General:Merrick_Garland
DOE:Jennifer Granholm
DOI:Deb Haaland
V.P.:Kamala Harris
Climate:John Kerry
NASA:Bill Nelson
DHS:Alejandro Mayorkas
NASA:Bill Nelson
DOC:Gina Raimondo
Domestic Policy:Susan Rice
Public Liaison:Cedric Richmond
State/Mexico:Ken Salazar
State/N.Z.:Tom Udall
USDA:Tom Vilsack
DOL:Marty Walsh
Treasury:Janet Yellen

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Page last updated: Sep 01, 2021