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LePage Defends Naloxone Veto at Town Meeting

Mal Leary
Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a town hall meeting in Damariscotta Wednesday night.

Gov. Paul LePage stressed his positions on the need to lower taxes and reduce energy costs at a town meeting in Damariscotta Wednesday night. But he got passionate in his defense of vetoing legislation that would make the lifesaving drug naloxone, also known as Narcan and used to counter drug overdoses, more available.

He told the mostly friendly crowd of about 90 people that the drug, at $70 a dose, is expensive and being overused.

“I think the first time, the second time, third time even, I don’t mind them not paying back. Because it’s very difficult to get off addiction,” LePage says. “But after a dozen times, I think it is time we make a new arrangement.”

LePage wants addicts to pay for excessive use of the drug.

“We have some people that have had 12, 14, 16 shots of Narcan. There comes a point in time where who is responsible for who. You know a shot of Narcan is $70 and the person who gets it doesn’t have to pay it back,” he says.

The governor was heckled a couple of times, one woman calling for LePage’s impeachment as she was led from the school auditorium.

LePage also attacked the Legislature for not passing his proposals to improve the state’s economy, calling Democrats in the Legislature socialists.

Lawmakers return Friday to address a growing number of vetoes from LePage.