Epidemic of substance abuse arises, big talking points made at NH State Democratic Convention

Photo by Getty Images
Photo by Getty Images

Alex Malm
Pierce Arrow Political Analyst

Hillary Clinton took the podium on September 17, 2015 the New Hampshire Democratic State convention. She spoke on many issues that she feels the country is facing. One issue in particular that Senator Clinton raised awareness to was the epidemic of substance abuse in this country.

Clinton stated “I never realized substance abuse would be part of my campaign until I made a trip to Keene”.  It is shocking to think that a small town in New Hampshire would have a major impact on a presidential campaign, especially a town taken over by drug abuse; Clinton was not the only one who spoke about drugs in this country.

Governors Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chaffee both have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in their states of Maryland and Rhode Island, respectively. Both these Democratic candidates used their record on the issue as talking points on Saturday.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate who has been very critical against the war on drugs over his career, also spoke Saturday on how the United States has too many people in prison and not nearly enough people educated. Sanders stated, “We have more people in jail than anyone else in the world”.  Instead of incarcerating our people, Sanders believes we should have the most educated population in the world.

As most of the candidates in the Democratic race have used the war on drugs as talking points, and three of the major candidates using debt free or college affordability as talking points, it is very interesting to see how some changes could help reduce the epidemic of substance abuse could also, help afford the major changes to college tuition suggested by the candidates.

Could the legalization and taxation of marijuana be used for education as it is in Colorado? Or could the elimination of imprisonment for drug use and implication of rehabilitation centers be used to help educate more adults who could instead spend years in prison and have felony records?  These are major issues that will be sorted out by the candidates this election season.

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