The nationwide addiction crisis is something we as a country must come together to address immediately. Our families and communities are being torn apart by opioid abuse, and our government has a duty to take action to combat this epidemic. As a member of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force and the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, I have hosted opioid community events, secured grant dollars for our local behavioral health clinics, and supported legislation to expand our substance use health workforce and provide more funding to states to curb the tide of this devastating epidemic.
Another approach we must take to curb opioid addiction is following the example of the state of Michigan to decriminalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. Studies have shown that full, federal legalization of medical marijuana in particular could be an effective solution to combat opioid addiction.
In addition to legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, I support descheduling marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and pardoning and wiping the records of past offenders who were convicted of non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. We should begin taxing and regulating marijuana to fund important projects like our roads and our schools.