Andrew McCullough, Attorney General


Why did you decide to run for public office?

To help change the nature of the debate and bring more freedom to Utah. 

What is your background? Profession, skills, etc.?

Attorney since 1973. Criminal defense, civil rights, and litigation. 

What is your general experience with drug policy and substance abuse?

Former Chair of the Utah County Council on Drug Abuse Rehabilitation; BA BYU 1973 in sociology; member NORML and MPP. Criminal lawyer since 1973. 

Do you support the creation of a medical cannabis program? Can you expand upon your general feelings about medical cannabis?

Yes, I support medical cannabis and attended all the committee meetings on the subject in 2015 and 2016 at the Utah legislature; but I also support full legalization as in in Colorado.

What steps would you take to reduce the number of overdose deaths? Do you have any personal experiences with overdose?

Education of the dangers is important, as is finding safer substances if we can. Decriminalize simple possession, so people are not afraid to get help.

Do you agree with this analysis? Please feel free to elaborate.

Possession and use of drugs should be treated primarily as a public health issue and problem.  Drug addicts are sick and they are victims, not criminals, and they should be treated as such.  Jail or prison is not good policy. It solves nothing. 

Are you familiar with the principle of harm reduction? Do you have any experience with harm reduction policies? Please feel free to elaborate.

I do not support the use of the criminal process to deal with drug users. I do not, however, support use of harmful drugs for non-essential purposes. Those who do use them should be encouraged to get treatment and to stop the dangerous behavior. Treatment should be available without danger of arrest. 

What are your general thoughts on the decriminalization of cannabis? Please elaborate.

I favor full legalization as in Colorado. If we cannot accomplish that all at once, I would certainly favor decriminalization where the user will not lose his or her driver’s license, job, apartment and so much more.  

Are you interested in sponsoring drug policy reform legislation if you were elected? What would be some specific areas of focus or interest for you?

As Attorney General, I would work for decriminalization and/or legalization from the first day.  We can start with eliminating the loss of driver’s licenses. We should decrease severity of crime as much as we can. This is really not the government's business at all.

Anything else?

I am the Chair of the Utah Libertarian Party. Marijuana legalization and the end of the "drug war" in general are a high priority. I am a member of both MPP and NORML and I encourage my friends and clients to join as well. The US imprisons far too many people for drug crimes.  Dangerous drugs should not be easily available, but those who have drug problems should have treatment and help. They should not be treated as criminals.

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