West Virginia State Delegate Mike Pushkin
State Delegate Mike Pushkin’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 3/9/2019 5:28:43 AM.
What district of West Virginia do you represent?
Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?
We have been the epicenter of the drug epidemic in America.
What are the two or three most significant bills that have been introduced in your chamber to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state?
We created the Ryan Brown Fund to build more treatment and recovery facilities and continue to fund existing facilities.
We passed the Opioid Reduction Act in 2017. I’m not convinced it will have desired effect.
We legalized Medical Cannabis in 2017. It is not available to patients yet, but I do believe it will positively affect opioid problem in WV.
I serve on the Select Committee for the Treatment and Prevention of Substance Abuse. I’m also Minority Vice Chair Of the House Committee On Health and Human Resources.
What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?
I’ve been a major advocate for Ryan Brown fund. I was lead sponsor on a lot of the Medical Cannabis Legislation
Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?
All of them.
What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?
Our state has been devastated by this epidemic. I cannot point to one “memorable experience”
If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?
I would start addressing this like a public health crisis and not a criminal issue nor moral dilemma.
Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?
I ran for office to help address this issue. I am in long term recovery.