Bruce Cutler, Utah House District 44

Bruce_Cutler.jpg

Why did you decide to run for public office?

In addition to wanting to serve my community, I am concerned about our public education system, maintaining the high-quality business environment in Utah, and helping to reduce the number of children growing up in poverty and becoming dependent on the government as adults.

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

I am a college graduate. I am a retired software developer, and I am now working as a STEM Education Coordinator. 

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

I worked in the Salt Lake County jail in an ecclesiastical position for many years. I've seen many there who struggle with drug addictions. I have a nephew who died of a drug overdose. I have other relatives who currently struggle with substance abuse.

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

Not being a doctor, I find it a difficult decision to make regarding medical cannabis. I look to my fellow legislators and other professionals to help me make that decision, and I believe that the FDA should be the one making those kinds of decisions. With sufficient substantiation I might be able to support the use of medical cannabis.

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

Whatever is needed! I fully support and have attended a drug court, and I would like to see this program expanded. My brother-in-law has a firm whose sole purpose is to help those with drug addictions. I have been an active supporter of his program.

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

Yes - substance abuse is a medical condition. The associated criminal actions are generally tied to this medical condition. We need to get people help earlier when they first realize they are addicted. Don't make it a crime when it is actually a medical condition that needs immediate attention.

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

I am not familiar with this principle and I'd like to learn more.

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

I've already discussed that in a previous question. I am not in favor of decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

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?

I will be working with my brother-in-law and others in this area. It is not an area in which I feel comfortable sponsoring legislation.

Anything else?