As overdoses attain document ranges throughout Maine, The Maine Restoration Advocacy Mission (ME-RAP), together with different advocates and legislators, immediately is urging motion on 4 payments to reform how Maine offers with habit and act on options that may make an affect throughout the state. The state of Maine is on observe to see record-breaking overdose deaths in 2020, with the Third Quarter Drug Overdose Report, launched by the Workplace of Lawyer Basic and the Workplace of Chief Medical Examiner final week, displaying that there have been 380 deaths brought on by medicine within the first three quarters of 2020, the identical variety of complete deaths in 2019. Proper now, Maine is on target to lose as many individuals to overdose because it did COVID-19 in 2020.
ME-RAP, a grassroots community of individuals and organizations throughout Maine launched a listing of priorities for the 130th Maine Legislative Session targeted on redefining and reimagining justice, entry, connection, and restoration. The agenda is backed by a bipartisan group of Maine lawmakers – together with Consultant Anne Perry (D-Calais), Senator Chloe Maxmin (D-Nobleboro), Rep. Kenney (R-Knox), and Consultant William D. Pluecker (I-Warren) – who’ve heeded these calls and are working with ME-RAP to suggest laws that may assist Mainers residing with habit and who’re in restoration, together with:
LR 933: This invoice would restructure drug sentencing legal guidelines to make possession of private use quantities of medication a civil offense. An individual charged with this civil workplace would be capable of select between a effective or receiving an evaluation for remedy. (An Act To Amend the Drug Legal guidelines by Decriminalizing the Particular person Use or Possession of Schedule W, X, Y and Z Medication — Rep. Anne Perry – D-Calais)
LR 1358: This invoice would create $1,000,000 in grant funding to open restoration neighborhood organizations within the seven Maine counties that at present wouldn’t have one: Kennebec, York, Waldo, Hancock, Franklin, Somerset, and Piscataquis counties. (An Act To Develop Restoration Organizations All through Maine — Sen. Chloe Maxmin – D-Nobleboro)
LR 1358: This invoice would decrease the price of telephone calls in Maine’s jails and prisons from a median of $5 per 15-minute name to about $1.50. Two free telephone calls per week would even be supplied to people who find themselves incarcerated to make sure that everybody has the flexibility to attach with their households, neighborhood, and restoration help companies. (An Act To Defend Households from Extreme Phone, Video, and Commissary Expenses in Maine Jails and Prisons– Rep. MaryAnne Kinney – R-Knox)
LR 890: This invoice would change stigmatizing phrases like “drug consumer” and “inmate” in Maine statutes to extra person-centered language like “one that makes use of medicine” and “resident.” (An Act To Determine and Exchange Sure Stigmatizing References all through the Maine Revised Statutes — Rep. Invoice Pluecker – I-Warren)
“For too lengthy the people who find themselves straight or not directly impacted by habit, overdose, restoration, and the struggle on medicine have been disregarded of the general public discourse about options,” mentioned Courtney Allen, ME-RAP’s Coverage Director. “In Maine, that ends immediately. ME-RAP is bringing individuals throughout the state collectively to advocate for individuals in restoration, improve recovery-friendly insurance policies, and finally finish overdose loss of life. We’re working with our state elected officers to restructure drug sentencing legal guidelines, deal with entry to remedy, fund restoration neighborhood organizations in each county in Maine, scale back the price of telephone requires individuals in jail, and substitute stigmatizing language in all of Maine’s legal guidelines.”
“Mainers from throughout our state are calling for modifications to strategy the general public well being disaster of habit to place restoration first – together with members from our legislation enforcement neighborhood who’re adamant that many individuals being detained in our prison justice system ought to really be in remedy,” mentioned State Rep. Anne Perry. “How can we do that? We will begin by decriminalizing minor drug costs, and discover ways in which we will join these people with the drug remedy sources they want as an alternative of placing them in our jails and prisons.”
“In rural Maine, we battle with access–to wholesome meals, transportation, inexpensive healthcare…and help methods for our neighbors in restoration,” mentioned State Sen. Chloe Maxmin. “We want options which are by and for rural Maine, which is why I am proud to sponsor a invoice that would supply funding for each county to make sure that they’ve a restoration heart.”
“It’s so necessary for the individual in or looking for restoration, in addition to the state who desires to help them, that we discuss concerning the individuals who face this unbelievable problem utilizing the correct language,” mentioned State Rep. Invoice Pluecker. “As a substitute of stigmatizing and ostracizing individuals with the phrases we label them with, we have to come collectively to acknowledge the personhood and worth of every particular person and their restoration for your entire state. This invoice is one small step in the direction of holding them up as being so necessary to the vibrancy and variety of our communities.”
ME-RAP organizers and state lawmakers will maintain a digital name that’s open to the general public on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm to debate the group’s platform and payments the legislators are proposing. Registration is required and will be executed here.