Rick Pollock, Utah House District 21

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Why did you decide to run for public office?

We only see our elected officials during election season, and even then many citizens don't know who represents them. I want all of my constituents to know who I am and to have any hesitation to call, email, FB message or tweet their concerns/questions to me.

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

Small Business Owner, Board Member at Plan B Theatre, and Member of the North Tooele Fire Board.

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

I'm familiar with the goals of the DPPU, and I believe that opiate abuse/dependence is too high in Utah. 

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

Yes, we need to provide a safe and effective alternative to opiates. 

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

I haven't had experience with opioid overdose, but I do have friends and colleagues that need to take an alarmingly high amount of opioids for pain relief.

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

I agree with that assessment.   

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

I also believe that we need alternatives for those suffering from drug abuse/dependence. 

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

I agree that jail time for minor drug possession isn't effective and consumes valuable resources that could be used elsewhere.

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?

Yes. I would like to start with availing our citizens of medical cannabis prescribed by a physician, that could go a long way in eliminating our dependence on opioids.

Anything else?

Utah has an alarmingly high rate of opioid abuse, these dangerous drugs are seemingly easy to get a hold of and addictive. Let's take the steps towards decreasing the use and dependence on opioids, and ensure our friends, family, and neighbors have a safe alternative to these dangerous drugs.