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Libertarian Gubernatorial Hopefuls say N.H. Should Reject Millions for Opioid Crisis

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New Hampshire will be getting millions of dollars more to combat the opioid epidemic, but two Libertarians running for New Hampshire governor say ... no thanks.

 

Candidates Aaron Day and Jilletta Jarvis oppose the federal money coming to the state from the federal government.

 

“I would say no to this money," Day said. "We have—every man, woman, and child in the United States owes $900,000 in unfunded debt and liabilities. And so, when … a lot of times this gets presented as free money. It’s not free money. It's money that our children have to pay back.”

Day favors private and voluntary aid alternatives to the drug crisis, including a crowd-sourcing funding model for treatment and recovery services.

He questions the efficacy of existing addiction treatment and says, "When you're getting money from a federal agency you really don't have a lot of leeway to experiment."

 

New Hampshire will be getting about $45 million over two years from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The state Department of Health and Human Services will be filing its application for how best to use the federal money by Aug. 13.

 

Jarvis also criticized the federal grant when both candidates appeared Tuesday on NHPR's The Exchange.

 

She says legalizing marijuana will also help get addicts off opioids.

 

“I would also say no because I don’t believe we need to be more dependent on the federal government," Jarvis said. "Every dollar that you get from the federal government comes with strings attached and I believe that, really we can solve this ourselves if we just start looking to solutions instead of constantly talking about the problem.”

 

Their opposition to federal funding to response to the opioid crisis reflects some of their additional Libertarian positions. Each candidate, for example, wants to repeal Medicaid expansion, which many Republicans and Democrats say has helped state response to the drug problem.

 

While she says she envisions a small, more effecient state government, Jarvis says there's a problem of access to health care in the Granite State. "I believe," she said, "that I represent a more compassionate and caring side of the Libertarian Party."

 

The state primary is Sept. 11.

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