Tom Vilsack on Drugs
Democratic IA Governor
$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
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:
To reduce the presence of illegal drugs, drug-related organized crime, and the adverse effects of drug and alcohol abuse in society requires a comprehensive strategy involving federal, state, and local governments. The Governors believe that one of the most severe public health threats is the recent rise in substance abuse among children.
Source: NGA policy HR-13: Combating and Controlling Substance Abuse 00-NGA2 on Aug 15, 2000
- The Federal Role
The profits from illicit drug trafficking can be effectively used to help state efforts to dry up the demand for these drugs. The nation’s Governors urge the President and Congress to fully fund drug and alcohol abuse education, drug courts, treatment, prevention, and law enforcement efforts, including the initiative to combat and clean up methamphetamine production laboratories, at the state and local levels of government.
- Intensified Eradication and Interdiction
Federal funding for use of the National Guard in drug and border enforcement deserves continued support. The Governors urge
the President and Congress to utilize the role of U.S. military forces in interdiction efforts.
- High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.
The HIDTA program provides additional federal funds to those areas to help federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations invest in infrastructure and joint initiatives to dismantle drug trafficking organizations. Governors support the HIDTA initiative and urge Congress to continue supporting the program.
- The Federal Role in Reducing International Drug Trafficking.
The nation’s Governors urge the Administration and Congress to significantly tighten procedures for certifying foreign countries for eligibility to receive U.S. aid based on their cooperation with U.S. surveillance, interdiction, and eradication efforts.
- Drug Legalization
The nation’s Governors believe illicit drug legalization is not a viable alternative, either as a philosophy or as a practical reality.
Page last updated: Dec 21, 2020