FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2018
For more information, please contact Ken Krawchuk at Campaign@KenK4Pa.com or 224-Krawchuk (224-572-9248)
LIBERTARIAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE KEN KRAWCHUK BLASTS SENATOR WAGNER’S OPIOID CRISIS SOLUTION, OFFERS A PROVEN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
ABINGTON PA – “What has Senator Wagner been smoking?” asked Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor. “Every two and a half hours another Pennsylvanian dies, a victim of the Opioid Crisis. The recent meteoric rise in opioid-related deaths is a sure indication what we’re doing today is failed policy. But Mr. Wagner’s so-called ‘solution’ is merely doubling down on that failed policy. Pennsylvania deserves better.”
Senator Wagner recently unveiled his plan to combat the Opioid Crisis. Key points include suing drug manufacturers, expanding criminal prosecutions, and reinstating the death penalty for drug dealers.
“Wagner’s solution is a poster child for the problems resulting from the entire failed War on Drugs,” Krawchuk continued. “They’ve taken a social issue and made it a criminal justice issue. It’s clogged our courts, filled our jails, and ruined countless lives, likely many more lives than have been ruined by drugs themselves. And now Senator Wagner wants to enlist the courts in his extremist scheme to add to that death toll. It’s a cure much worse than the disease.”
In addition to decrying Wagner’s heavy-handed suggestions, Krawchuk laid out his own reasoning and outlined the Libertarian approach.
“Before coming up with a solution,” Krawchuk explained, “We have to ask: What are the facts? According to the National Institute of Health, opioids are the leading cause of accidental death in America, and according to Scientific American, there are virtually only two causes. The first is ignorance; ignorance of the fact that opioids can kill when mixed with commonly available items, things like alcohol or certain prescription drugs. The second is an acute lack of quality control. They’re ‘street drugs’ remember, and you can never be sure of what’s mixed in: rat poison, fentanyl, Coffemate, you never know. It’s like ordering a beer and getting moonshine.
“But if I told you there’s a way to reduce opioid use by 75%, reduce opioid deaths by 85%, and reduce HIV infections by more than 90%, would you be interested? Because these are the results recently published by the Portuguese Health Ministry. How did they conquer their killer? Portugal faced the compassionate truth: Addiction is not a crime. Instead of putting sick people in cages, back in 2001 they ended their insane War on Drugs. The results speak for themselves.
“Today Portugal provides counseling to all, where in America, only 10% get it. That addresses the issue of deaths from ignorance. And Portugal provides opioid substitutes such as Methadone, and free drug purity testing. That eliminates the ‘street drug’ aspect. Better yet, instead of calling sick people ‘criminals’ and putting them in cages, drug possession is treated no worse than a traffic ticket, one that comes with a free social worker to help guide them on the path to rehabilitation. And best of all, their approach saves money. Portugal spends less than $10 per citizen per year on drug programs, where the U.S. spends some $10,000 per household.
“So I can’t understand why Senator Wagner wants to double down on a failed policy and use the power of government to kill even more people. Instead, let’s follow the Libertarian approach and save money and lives by ending the War on Drugs today. It’s a modest proposal with huge results: reduce opioid use by 75%, reduce opioid deaths by 85%, reduce HIV infections by more than 90%. It’s a solution within reach. It’s a future worth having. We only need leadership with the political courage to do it — hopefully before another two and a half hours passes! As your governor, I promise I will follow Portugal’s example, decriminalize all drugs, and finally put an end to all that needless death.
“To quote the NY Times, ‘The lesson that Portugal offers the world is that while we can’t eradicate heroin, it’s possible to save the lives of drug users if we’re willing to treat them not as criminals but as sick, suffering human beings who need helping hands, not handcuffs.’
“So please vote for me, Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian for Pennsylvania Governor. Because if you keep on voting the way you’ve been voting, you’re going to keep on getting just what you’ve been getting – including another opioid-related death every two and a half hours.”
Krawchuk, 65, is an Information Technology entrepreneur from Abington, Pa. He has appeared on the gubernatorial ballot twice before, facing Democrat Ed Rendell in 2002 and Republican Tom Ridge in 1998. His Lieutenant Governor running mate Kathleen Smith is a retired retail merchant from Canonsburg, Pa, and has served two terms on her local school board, one of them as board president. Because of Pennsylvania’s onerous ballot access laws, Krawchuk is the first third party or independent gubernatorial candidate to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot since 2002. His return to politics comes on the heels of his federal court victory in 2016 that ruled unconstitutional the $80,000+ fines that have been levied against statewide candidates who are unsuccessful in their attempt to appear on the November ballot.
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the state and the nation, with over 150 elected and appointed officials currently serving in office nationwide, and 40 in Pennsylvania. Libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and like the Founding Fathers, Libertarians believe that you have the inalienable right to conduct your life as you see fit, without interference, so long as you respect the rights and property of others.
For more information about the Libertarian Party, the public is invited to contact the Krawchuk campaign at www.KenK4Pa.com, Campaign@KenK4Pa.com, or (224) Krawchuk (224-572-9248), the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at www.LpPa.org or (800) R-RIGHTS, or the National Libertarian Party at www.Lp.org or (202) 333-0008.
Krawchuk appears weekly on a Facebook livestream at 8 PM every Wednesday night, https://facebook.com/KenK4Pa.