Tiffany Kopp, Utah House District 16

Why did you decide to run for public office?

I decided to run for office to give the people a Democratic choice in my area. 

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

I have background in psychology, design, sales, and customer service. 

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

I do not have an extensive understanding with all of the specific drug laws in Utah, but I have had experience interning with social services and working in outpatient support with former addicts and offenders.

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

I support the creation of medical cannabis for those in need. If this is the only medicine that can help a suffering person, then it should be made available to them. 

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

I think education is the key in helping reduce overdose deaths. People should be receiving more information from their doctors and pharmacists about the drugs they are prescribed, as well as young people in schools. Drug education programs should provide useful, academic information and less scare tactics. 

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

I do agree with this analysis. Having a background in psychology and sociology, it is easy to see that the criminal justice approach to drug policy has created a strain on our prison system. Using scientific research, we can reform this system to create something that better benefits our society.

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 have much knowledge of harm reduction. 

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

I think there are many benefits of decriminalization, and it would be useful for our prisons to be housing violent threats to society rather than low level cannabis users. 

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 would be interested in sponsoring drug reform, specifically establishing a more equal system that imposes less harsh sentences for low level offenders, and reducing congestion of the criminal justice system. 

Anything else?