Public Health

“Public health must be a priority for the attorney general policies. This means protecting our people as well as our resources, and preventing abuse, fraud, and addiction by getting down to the root of the problem. State attorneys general are extraordinary voices for the public good, and it is important to maximize their advocacy on behalf of our nation’s health.”

Opioid, Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin Crisis

“Oklahomans are facing devastating losses at the hand of dangerous drugs, both legal and illegal. We must limit the supply of all dangerous drugs as a matter of public safety and public health, which means addressing both illicit dealers and pill mill providers.”

Mark strongly supports enforcement of drug trafficking laws while promoting policies to better address drug addiction problems. The current opioid addiction problem represents a failure of past public policy and the state must keep its focus on both prevention and treatment for effective, long-term solutions for those afflicted and those affected by addiction.

We must treat drug addiction as a public health issue. Bringing treatment into the healthcare system leads to more successful outcomes. That requires better funding for healthcare facilities and treatment programs.

In the absence of effective treatment programs, opioid, meth, cocaine, and heroin addiction imposes tremendous damage, strains, and costs to the drug users, families, schools, workplaces, jails, prisons, and our judicial system.

The focus on prevention, intervention, education, treatment, law enforcement, and rehabilitation is a move in the right direction. Education in communities not traditionally touched by the AG’s office can help prevent an escalation of the problem. It is important to note that opioid addiction is not a drug problem in isolation. Besides fentanyl and other synthetic fentanyl analogs, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, along with the trafficking of those drugs remain a very serious problem that require redress.

In an effort to create more effective public policy, Oklahoma’s AG and attorneys general around the country are in a bipartisan manner pursuing some of the biggest players in the pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution industry for fraud and abuse because of the industry’s principal role in creating an opioid crisis of epidemic proportions.

“Nearly 40 AG’s offices around the country have requested that insurance companies review their policies for factors driving or contributing to the opioid crisis. I will add Oklahoma to that list so that we can take the next steps and get to the heart of this devastating crisis.”

Prevention Programs

We must increase drug rehabilitation programs, mental health diversion programs, and veterans’ diversion programs and make them available statewide. Much crime is the consequence of people looking for property to convert into cash for drugs. Addressing the underlying drug addiction issues will improve public safety and reduce crime.

By eliminating support programs for mental health, we have effectively criminalized mental health issues. A large percentage of the prison population receives mental health treatment including medication. Expanding mental health diversion programs allows for more cost effective treatment of mental health consumers without warehousing them in expensive prisons.

“Our veterans deserve more than a debt of gratitude. When their service can be linked to the problems they experience when they return, we need to make available effective diversion programs across the state to address their problems instead of turning them into convicted felons.”

Protection of Our Natural Resources

Clean air, land, and water is important to every Oklahoman. The office of the attorney general must work to safeguard our natural resources, which serve our people with the vital resources such as the food we grow, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. As attorney general, I will fight for ensure our resources are protected and all usage of our resources are not only lawful, but also do no harm to any Oklahoman or to our land, air, and water sources. Although the wide-ranging state environmental protections can be complex both scientifically and legally, state attorneys general play an important role in the area of environmental protections.

“Places like Tar Creek and Bird Creek are stains on our environmental history. We must move forward to protect both our lands and our people from poisoning.” The pristine looking waters of eastern Oklahoma belie the levels of organic material contaminating the water. Countless children have been poisoned from zinc and lead mining in Picher, resulting in neurological issues, genetic deformities, and learning disabilities. Under Mark’s direction, the office of the attorney general will redouble its efforts to work with all of the stakeholders to reduce the threats to our resources and protect our people and our children. The EPA must be held accountable to its mandate to protect and clean our environment.

The land, the people, and the air in Eastern Oklahoma are still being poisoned today, this time by the poultry industry. The poultry feathers, dust, chemicals, feed, carcasses, and excrement penetrate the ground–poisoning the water and making the air unbreathable. This problem is also causing property value to plummet, affecting the financial assets and monetary livelihood of Oklahomans that live close to these poultry farms. We cannot let corporations run amok to allow the stench and particles of chemical and animal carcass to infect the air, pollute the groundwater, endanger thousands of lives of men, women, and children in that area and beyond, and with secretive hiring practices to boot. Without transparency and accountability for corporations, we leave both our natural resources and our people vulnerable to illness, disease, shortened life spans and lead to barren lands.

Protecting the Elderly from Abuse and Fraud and Exploitation

As our population ages, more elderly people are targeted for abuse and financial exploitation whether they reside in a nursing home or in their own home. We will not stand for opportunists taking advantage of our elderly citizens no matter where they reside. As attorney general, Mark will defend the most vulnerable among us and prosecute scam artists and abusers to the fullest extent of the law.

Proposed Policies and Plans:

  • Protect our natural resources
  • Support the will of the people on State Question 788 regarding medical marijuana
  • Care for our elderly through expansion of Medicaid protocols
  • End nursing home abuse by instituting protections for our elderly
  • Protect reproductive rights
  • Defend the most vulnerable among us, including domestic violence, sexual harassment and assault victims as well as sex trafficking victims.
  • Ensure that corporations are being held accountable and their practices transparent