Douglas Announces Plan to Reduce Illicit Drug Use
(Host) Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Douglas proposed a three-point program Thursday that Douglas says will help reduce the state's growing drug problem. Douglas unveiled his program at the Rutland City Police Department. The $3.5 million program would be financed by a 10 cent increase in the state cigarette tax. Douglas says this issue needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner:
(Douglas) "Vermonters are facing an epidemic of heroin addiction and sale in our state. Many Vermonters with whom I have been talking during the past few months are very, very concerned about the next generation of kids because of the scourge of illicit drugs in Vermont."
(Host) Douglas's plan calls for additional drug education, treatment, and enforcement programs. It calls for drug counselors in all junior high and high schools, it funds new treatment centers and it allocates $500,000 for drug rehabilitation programs in Vermont's prisons.
Douglas also proposed a "Megan's Law" for convicted drug dealers:
(Douglas) "We have a program now of course that requires a registry of those sex offenders who are released in a community. It seems to me that those who are drug dealers targeting kids in the cities and towns of our state pose as serious a threat as well."
(Host) Under the Douglas plan, any minor who is convicted of possessing or distributing illegal drugs would automatically lose their driver's license for a one-year period.