Gov.’s Councilor Jubinville supports decriminalizing heroin
By State House News Service | August 5, 2015, 19:32 EDT
Written by Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON- A member of the council that vets judicial nominees asked Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday to consider decriminalizing heroin use by addicts and having the state take over the operation of methadone clinics as a strategy to “try something different” and get more drug addicts the treatment they need to recover.
Governor’s Councilor Robert Jubinville, a criminal defense attorney from Milton, delivered a letter to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg asking the administration and the Legislature to take their efforts to combat opioid abuse one step further.
“Hopefully this can start the conversation and start helping some of these kids instead of running them through the courts and ruining their lives,” Jubinville said.
In his letter, Jubinville says drug addiction is a disease that should be treated not punished. He applauded Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello who earlier this year announced that his department would stop arresting addicts who show up to the police station to turn in their drugs and paraphernalia and ask for help.
Methadone clinics should be available in every courthouse, according to Jubinville, who described the drug as an “underrated tool” that can be administered by professionals to heroin addicts in a controlled setting, allowing people to function more normally in society.
Last month, Jubinville cast the lone vote against Baker’s first judicial nominee – Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker – because he said he was concerned Kafker did not adequately understand drug addiction.
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