State of Mississippi Archives: on Drugs

Robert Foster: We can't punish someone out of addiction

Across our state, children are born into opioid addiction, families are torn apart, and thousands of lives are destroyed each year. Now, more than ever, we need to attack the root cause of the problem and re-habilitate those addicted.

We can't punish someone out of addiction. We must lead the effort of penalizing drug traffickers and placing non-violent addicts on the road to wellness. These non-violent offenders need a path back into society where they can once again be economically self-sufficient citizens by investing in mental health programs rather than more jail cells.

We must look at all scientifically proven and medically beneficial options for pain management. Opioids are not always the best solution, and we must bring law enforcement, the medical community, and all other stakeholders to the table to have a serious conversation about this issue and how we can implement common-sense policies to allow for safer alternatives.

Source: 2019 Mississippi governor campaign website Dec 31, 2018

Robert Foster: Full-on prohibition of drugs does not work

Foster's views do not always align with the hard right. In 2016, he wrote that, while he doesn't support "the legalization of drugs," he believes "full-on prohibition" does not work, suggesting the war on drugs was a failure. "We know that throwing addicts in jail for using drugs does not stop them from using drugs," he wrote. "Most addicts start to use drugs just as soon as they get back out, some use drugs even while they are still in jail."
Source: Jackson Free Press on 2019 Mississippi governor race Dec 10, 2018

David Baria: Medical marijuana yes; recreational marijuana no

Q: Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

David Baria (D): Supports medical marijuana legalization. Opposes recreational legalization.

Roger Wicker (R): No. Supports federal intervention against states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.

Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Mississippi Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Roger Wicker: Feds should intervene if states legalize marijuana

Q: Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

David Baria (D): Supports medical marijuana legalization. Opposes recreational legalization.

Roger Wicker (R): No. Supports federal intervention against states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.

Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Mississippi Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Cindy Hyde-Smith: Mississippi to get $7.5 million to fight opioid abuse

Hyde-Smith announced that Mississippi is in line to receive another $7.5 million in federal funding to address opioid abuse prevention and recovery work initiatives. "This funding will allow Mississippi to more effectively respond to opioid abuse," Hyde-Smith said. "These drugs are dangerous and the state is right to focus on overcoming their terrible toll on families and our communities."
Source: Senate press release on 2020 Mississippi Senate campaign Jun 18, 2018

Tate Reeves: Stronger measures against drugs at work

The legislature approved several measures to make Mississippi an even better place to do business. Government should create an environment to encourage the private sector to create more jobs. The state's workers' compensation law also was reformed to ensure a fair and impartial relationship between the worker and employer with provisions to better define the employee's choice of physician, implement stronger measures against workplace drug and alcohol use, and increase certain benefits.
Source: on 2018 Mississippi Senate race May 26, 2018

David Baria: In favor of legalizing medical marijuana

[On a call-in show]: "I can tell you that I am in favor of legalizing medical marijuana that can be prescribed while under a doctor's care," he said answering a caller's question. "I know that medical marijuana has benefits for patients suffering from PTSD and for folks experiencing pain." Baria stopped short of supporting legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. "I am in favor of leaving it to the states and keeping the federal prosecutors out of states where it has been legalized," he said.
Source: Jackson Free Press on 2018 Mississippi Senate race May 8, 2018

Jensen Bohren: Marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco

In addition to Prison Reform, we need national Marijuana legalization. Marijuana needs to be removed from the drug scheduling and regulated like alcohol or tobacco. There are too many people getting into legal trouble that damages their future due to small amounts of marijuana, and the states are missing an enormous tax revenue with the black market sales of cannabis.
Source: 2018 Mississippi Senate campaign website Jan 1, 2018

Jim Hood: Sue opioid manufacturers for deceptive practices

A growing tide of lawsuits alleges that drugmakers used deceptive practices so they could rake in huge profits from opioid painkillers while deceiving the public about the risk for addiction. Mississippi may again lead the way, as it did against the nation's cigarette manufacturers, suing the Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma and seven other drugmakers. The state of Ohio has now filed a similar lawsuit. The lawsuits are borrowing legal tactics the state of Mississippi pioneered against Big Tobacco. The states asserted they were victims of an industry-induced nicotine addiction that spiked health care costs for Medicaid recipients [based on deceptive marketing].

Now AG Jim Hood is using a similar argument against opioid drugmakers. "These pharmaceutical companies marketed the drug as rarely addictive and a safe substitute for non-addictive pain medications," wrote Hood, whose predecessor and professional mentor, Mike Moore, led the fight against the tobacco industry.

Source: Clarion-Ledger on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jun 10, 2017

Phil Bryant: More drug testing for unemployment insurance applicants

We write to you today in support of H.J. Res. 42, your legislation that would disapprove of the US Department of Labor's recent regulation regarding states' ability to drug test individuals who apply for unemployment insurance (UI).

Congress authorized the Labor Department to craft a rule that would provide states the option to drug test unemployment insurance applicants. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration drafted the rule too narrowly, undermining the intent of Congress and permitting drug testing in too few instances.

Drug testing UI applicants can help individuals suffering from substance abuse to access necessary care and treatment so they may re-enter the workforce as healthy and productive members of society. We believe this rule should be replaced with a new rule that allows increased flexibility for states to implement UI drug testing that best fits the needs of each state. We look forward to working with Congress on this issue going forward.

Source: 2019 Mississippi Governor campaign press release Feb 10, 2017

Phil Bryant: Drug courts work; fully fund them

I have long been an advocate of drug courts, and I hope you will follow the guidance in my budget and fully fund this effort. These courts work. They provide a valuable service that helps get Mississippians on the right path again.

To combat pockets of serious crime in our state, I have asked you to fund a violent crime strike force composed of state, local and federal law enforcement officers. These elite forces will respond to a specific high-crime area and hit gangs and drug dealers where they live.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Mississippi legislature Jan 22, 2014

Haley Barbour: Fight the scourge of illegal narcotics with a vengeance

In law enforcement, we have fought the scourge of illegal narcotics with a vengeance. In 2005 you passed laws to reduce the production and use of crystal methamphetamine. When the criminals learned how to get around those laws, you made the necessary changes, and they are working. In the first six months of this fiscal year--July 1 to December 31, 2010--68 percent fewer meth labs have been reported; meth arrests are down 62 percent; the number of drug-endangered children has fallen 76 percent.
Source: 2011 Mississippi State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

  • The above quotations are from State of Mississippi Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021