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Maine governor calls on armed citizens to murder drug dealers as opioid/heroin deaths soar among youth

Maine governor

(NaturalNews) You have to hand it to Maine's unorthodox, independent-minded governor: He is unique, and his approach – while somewhat bizarre to some people – is a breath of fresh air to a majority of state residents who elected him.

As noted by Think Progress, an uber-liberal news site, Gov. Paul LePage, who is a Republican, said recently that he believes his state should revive the guillotine to decapitate drug dealers. But it was what he said after that which got the site's attention; he appeared to imply that Maine residents should attack drug dealers as well.

"I tell ya, everybody in Maine, we have constitutional carry," LePage said in an on-camera interview in Lewiston, in a reference to his state's protections for carrying concealed handguns without a special permit.

"Load up and get rid of the drug dealers. Because, folks, they're killing our kids," he said.

'Bring back the guillotine'

The reporter to whom LePage was speaking asked quickly if the governor was implying that residents could and should use vigilante justice against drug pushers by saying that they could use their constitutional right to carry concealed to "get rid of" them when they encounter them.

Think Progress reported further:

The day before appearing to deputize every Maine citizen to shoot people they think are selling drugs, the governor joked that it's time to handle pushers like French princes.

"What we ought to do is bring the guillotine back," LePage told WVOM radio, in a remark made in the context of him also stating that he would like to see dramatic increases in prison sentencing for drug trafficking in his state. Maine is one of several states that have seen a major increase in opiate addiction in the past few years.

While his reference to the famous French execution device was tongue-in-cheek, LePage appears to be deadly serious about making life much tougher for drug dealers in Maine, including wanting to prosecute dealers for murder when their customers overdose and die.

Earlier this year at a town hall event, LePage also promised to push the legislature for tougher penalties against drug dealing. At the same event, he also warned residents that men with names like "D-Money, Smoothie [and] Shifty" were coming to Maine to sell drugs and get "young white girl[s]" pregnant.

Noted Think Progress further:

LePage's trifecta of spicy January quotes about drug dealers contrast with his ideas for handling their customers. He says addicts should be sent to drug treatment rather than to prison, and has called for investing more state resources in such empathy-based responses to narcotics possession offenses.

That position is actually in line with a number of leaders in other states, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, scientists and many in Congress who have seen stiffer penalties for drug crimes lead to higher prison recidivism rates with no appreciable corresponding drop in drug-related crimes.

The shift in attitudes among Republicans and Democrats comes as deaths from opioids, especially, have skyrocketed. As noted by President Obama in October, the problem is getting out of hand.

'We need to do more'

As reported by the Portland Press Herald in December:

Despite increased public efforts to combat opioid abuse, the number of deaths from heroin overdoses nationally surged by 28 percent in 2014, and fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers climbed by 16.3 percent, according to federal health officials.

The 10,574 heroin deaths and the 18,893 deaths from prescription opioids were two big contributors to a sharp increase in fatal drug overdoses last year – a total of 47,055, up 7 percent from 2013, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The heroin overdose figure was more than three times higher than the 2010 tally.

"The bottom line is the opioid overdose epidemic has not abated and appears to have soared in 2014," noted Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's clear that we need to do more."






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