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Miller and Ojeda: Where they stand on opiate crisis

Republican Carol Miller and Democrat Richard Ojeda, both candidates for District 3’s race for House of Representatives, have not agreed on much, but they did agree that the opiate epidemic has a stranglehold on their district. (Miller Photo/WCHS/Ojeda Picture/Submitted Campaign Photo)

Republican Carol Miller and Democrat Richard Ojeda, both candidates for District 3’s race for House of Representatives, have not agreed on much, but they did agree that the opiate epidemic has a stranglehold on their district.

“There’re not one single family that has been able to avoid being directly hit with this crisis,” Ojeda said.

Miller, who has rarely spoken with reporters during this campaign, took three questions Wednesday before early voting.

She said she would push for extra funding for recovery programs.

“One of my very first priorities will be working on funding for the drug epidemic,” Miller said. “I have done that for years on the local level.”

Miller said she helped pass Justice Reinvestment legislation in 2013 which, in part, helped low-level drug offenders get rehabilitation in jail.

“Go through recovery and rehab, before they get out,” Miller said.

Ojeda also pledged to fight for federal money, saying jail-based rehabilitation isn’t enough.

“30 days in jail is not real rehabilitation. We need real rehabilitation," he said.

Ojeda said he would push for federal decriminalization or rescheduling of marijuana to be used as an alternative to addictive painkillers.

“We know that states who’ve accepted medical cannabis have seen a 24 percent decrease in overdose,” Ojeda said.

Ojeda passionately pushed a law legalizing medical marijuana in West Virginia that Miller voted in favor of when it passed.

Her campaign, though, wouldn’t say whether she would push to decriminalize it federally.

Meanwhile, Ojeda said he would do "everything in my power to get the funding, and do whatever I must do to help save these lives."

Miller said combating the drug issue is a top priority.

“Absolutely, I will help fund our drug issue in West Virginia,” Miller said.

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