This was originally published on Liberal America on April 22, 2016.
Maine Governor Paul LePage has just vetoed a bill that would have saved the lives of many drug addicts. The drug naloxone can be used to save the life of someone who is overdosing on opioids. The law would’ve allowed pharmacists to dispense the drug to someone about to overdose, or it could have been given to a loved one to help in case of an emergency.
LePage thinks that it “perpetuates the cycle of addiction.” Are you a doctor, Governor? No! He had this to say about the drug in his veto letter:
“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.”
He thinks passing this law would be:
“Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction.”
Members of the legislature are calling out LePage saying that this is blatantly disregarding his citizens’ lives. LePage is basically saying that people suffering from addiction are not worth saving.
Sen. Cathy Breen said:
“I disagree. Narcan (naloxone) can be the difference between an early grave and an intervention that can put an addict on the path to recovery. We know that Narcan saves lives. It is incumbent on us to make sure it is readily available.”
Maine would have been joining thirty states in making this drug more readily available. This overdose-reversing drug could be given to first responders as well. Maine has been experiencing a rise in drug-related deaths recently. They lost 272 lives in 2014; this is a 31% increase from previous years.
Senator Eric Brakey had this to say to counter the “enabling” argument:
“Although some would argue that we are enabling addicts to continue their ways, we would strongly disagree. Most people don’t choose to become addicts.”
LePage has a pretty bad track record with health-related bills. He said that immigrants are bringing in the “Ziki fly” and spreading that virus, a claim that was later determined to be wrong.
This is also the idiot that said drug dealers are coming into his state from New York and impregnating white girls.
Hopefully, this man will come to his senses and help his citizens recover from addiction.