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Carly Fiorina wants to decriminalize drugs: ‘We need to treat it appropriately’

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, in New York, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Fiorina and Hillary Rodham Clinton are bidding to become the first female U.S. president. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, in New York, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Fiorina and Hillary Rodham Clinton are bidding to become the first female U.S. president. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Carly Fiorina thinks cities like Baltimore are plagued by a “bad cycle” of addiction and incarceration—and the solution is not to lock more drug users up.

Following her Monday announcement, Fiorina took questions on videostreaming app Periscope, and elucidated her ideas on criminal justice reform.

“Drug addiction shouldn’t be criminalized,” she said. “We need to treat it appropriately, and when you look at the stats, it’s clear that a lot of what goes on in an inner city like Baltimore is sort of like an industry: you have a lot of young people who are getting access to drugs and then they’re getting arrested frequently. It’s just a bad, bad cycle.”

“Ultimately, of course, we need to create a circumstance in which people have a stake in their community, and they have a stake in their community because they believe their community offers them possibilities for a future.”

According to the Washington Post, she cited the work of several Republican governors on justice reform, including “decriminalizing drug addiction and drug use.”

As the Post notes, one of Fiorina’s two stepdaughters struggled with substance abuse and died at the age of 34. “A heart truly can feel as though it is breaking apart into a thousand shattered pieces,” Fiorina wrote in her memoir.

Fiorina’s personal connection to the issue is reminiscent of Chris Christie, whose push to “destigmatize” drug addiction stems from the loss of his one of his friends to alcohol and drugs.

Christie has also called for treating nonviolent drug offenders, although he recently promised to “crack down” on states that legalize marijuana should he become president.

Last week Fiorina told Breitbart she supported police body cameras and dashboard cameras “for everyone’s protection; transparency always helps accountability.”


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