You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live



▲  4th Inning 0 outs

Lt. governor candidate seeks to clarify statements on decriminalizing drugs

Leland Cheung


Leland Cheung

A candidate for lieutenant governor said today that he does not support the legalization of cocaine and heroin, clarifying statements in which he cited public health and social justice concerns in an unusual argument for Massachusetts to treat hard drugs more like marijuana.

However, Cheung said, he believes “that it is our moral imperative to reform our Commonwealth’s criminal justice system.”

Continue reading below

“As Lieutenant Governor, I will call for further reforms to sentencing requirements for non-violent drug offenders to dismantle the prison pipeline while getting addicts the help they need,” he added in a statement.

In a Thursday “Ask Me Anything” session on the online discussion board Reddit, Leland Cheung, a Cambridge City Council member and Democratic hopeful to become the next governor’s chief backup, had outlined some thoughts on drug enforcement.

“I’d support a bill to decriminalize those drugs IF it also came along with education and treatment plans to solve the root of the problem— addiction that devastates lives and often leads to incarceration, further devastating a person’s life,” Cheung wrote. “Simply treating addicts as criminals has not worked and it’s time for a different approach.”

Continue reading it below

“Decriminalization” generally refers to the reduction — not the elimination — of penalties for drug possession.

Cheung’s statement came in response to a specific question about whether he would back a move to legalize “recreational drug use of harder drugs like heroin or cocaine.”

Andy Rosen can be reached at
Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of