Maine Gov. LePage vetoes bill to expand access to overdose antidote

Maine governor and the Penguin from Batman Paul LePage vetoed a bill today that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense the anti-overdose drug, naloxone, without a prescription. Thirty states already have such a policy on the books.

According to the Portland Press-Herald, “The legislation would also allow police and fire departments to obtain a supply of naloxone and provides immunity to pharmacists or health care professionals who dispense the antidote when ‘acting in good faith and with reasonable care.'”

In explaining his veto, of the bill, which passed unanimously, LePage argued that granting addicts access to overdose medication “serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction,” essentially saying that it would be better to let addicts die than it would be to get them help.

Paul LePage, via Wikimedia Commons

Paul LePage, via Wikimedia Commons

As he continued, “Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.” Which is to say, Paul LePage has given up on heroin addicts in his state, and would rather let them die off on their own accord than help them through their addiction.

Bear in mind, this is the same Paul LePage who thinks that his state’s heroin epidemic can be solved by keeping black people from New York out of his stateusing vigilante mobs if necessary. For being the governor of a state with a high rate of heroin abuse, one would think his ideas on how to fix the problem wouldn’t be this bad. Still, vetoing a bill that literally no one in his state’s legislature opposed for the stated purpose of accelerating people’s deaths is over the top — even for him.

At least the bill will probably still become law. Maine’s legislature plans to take up this and other vetoed bills in two weeks’ time, and they should have more than the two-thirds majority needed to pass it.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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