Scott Neilson, State School Board District 13

Why did you decide to run for public office?

I wanted to make a difference for good, and help create standards and curriculum that will help Utah students excel in the lives they choose to lead.

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

B.A. UVU 2006
M.Ed BYU 2015
Public Educator, I am in my 11th year of teaching and I currently teach high school in Nebo School District.
Reserve Officer for U.S. Army

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

Very little. 

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

I am okay with medical cannabis. However, I also fully support the rights of employers to dismiss persons who abuse any mind altering substance, including medial cannabis.

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

Education is key, people must know the risks of drug use. I have never used opioids, so I have zero experience with its affects and addictions.

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

Hard drugs destroy lives. I would like to see harsh penalties for drug traffickers, and more rehab and less jail time for drug users. 

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

Not familiar.

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

I do not support decriminalizing cannabis. However, persons caught with small amounts of cannabis should be fined, not jailed. Possession of large amounts of cannabis warrants jail time in my opinion. 

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 am running for the State School Board which has nothing to do with legislation.

Anything else?