Neil Hansen, Utah State Treasurer

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Why did you decide to run for public office?

I was recruited to run. I have heard it said, that the office should seek the man/woman, instead of the man seeking the office. I feel that I have a lot to provide to this office.

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

I am the seventh of eleven children and was reared in Ogden, Utah, and have been a lifelong resident of Ogden. I was educated in Ogden City Schools and graduated from Ogden High school in 1977. In 1974, when I was 14 years old, I campaigned for a Democratic candidate named Ron Rencher, who later became the Speaker of the Utah House that year. Little did I know that at that young age I would one day occupy the same House District seat in the legislature, as I helped a candidate get elected to. In 1998, I was elected to the House of Representatives for Legislative District 9, and held the seat 12 years or six terms until 2010. I lost the last re-election by 100 votes, and am seeking to win the Utah's Treasurer office this year. Some of my political experience includes attending and being a delegate to four Democratic national conventions in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2016 For Bernie Sanders. I will be supporting Hillary Clinton, because she has laid out a plan of what she will do for us, unlike the other guy that just calls names and hates everyone, including Mitt Romney and his Mormon religion.
My first job was working at JB’s restaurant in downtown Ogden and then for a construction company for one year before serving an LDS Mission to Indiana Indianapolis from 1978-1980, in addition I have served as a LDS bishop. I have worked for Ogden City’s water department from 1981 to 2002. I am also the patent owner and inventor of the in-home fresh water storage system, and am currently the owner and president of www.Readymadewater.com.
I married Debbie Buhler in 1981 in the LDS Ogden Temple, and we have eight children and six grandchildren. 

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

I have not had a lot of experience with the drug policy, but I have some real experience with people that have abused substances, some being in my family. The more I learn, the more I know we need to revamp the way we are doing things and many thing needs to change.

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

I will say one thing on this and if you would like to know more about what I think you may call me. My answer is this, outlaw tobacco, there is not one good thing that comes from smoking tobacco other than kill people. With establishing a medical cannabis program here in Utah I can see how this will ease the burden of pain and suffering, and I believe violence will go down because of its mellowing effects, and it does not cause cancer.

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

I had two neighbor kids that had overdosed, and probably could've been saved if they had the medical option to say their lives. I believe if we were to regulate it, it just might be the way to track who has it and then to help them to get into treatment.

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

Yes, your right on the money with that. I think if we were punishing that would be fair, if those that are caught with illegal drugs, should do the right amount of time in public service, and maybe that would help them to feel a sense of self-worth.

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

I agree with what it says, let’s do that now.

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

I agree on the premise, but let’s regulate it in a smart and caring way. Those locked up need to be let out to free up the space for more important crimes.

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?

Should I get a chance to do so I would do it and support others that may do so as well.

Anything else?

Folks this is an issue that really needs to be brought to the forefront, maybe even have a task force to study and get the real facts of what is happening in our communities.