By Stephen Seitz
LUDLOW—Barring a successful write-in attempt, Democratic selectman Logan Nicoll, a lifelong Ludlow resident, will be representing Shrewsbury, Mount Holly and Ludlow in the House next year.
“I ran in the last cycle, but couldn’t put enough time into campaigning,” he said. “I suppose the Republicans could appoint someone after the primary.”
Nicoll said his chief concern is the state’s drug policy.
“The state is putting too many people into jail for nonviolent drug crimes,” he said. “We should be putting more emphasis on treatment. Look at Portugal. They decriminalized drugs and poured their resources into treatment.”
According to an article in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, the policy has been a rousing success. Rather than getting jailed, drug offenders could face a ticket or a small fine, or appear before a local commission to discuss treatment options. In 15 years, new cases of HIV fell from 104.2 cases per million to 4.2 cases per million. Overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates all saw similar drops.
“My father was a corrections officer,” Nicoll said. “We talked a lot about people who weren’t a danger to society who just got caught doing what other people do.”
One thing Nicoll said he’d like to do is give towns more control.
“We’ve had a few situations where we’ve been pitted against the Public Service Board,” he said. “The PSB would make decisions for us which went against our ordinances.”
Nicoll said he’s very unhappy with the recent merger of the Ludlow-Mount Holly school systems. Under the terms of the merger, Black River Middle High School will close and the high school students will be sent to other nearby schools under a tuition program.
“Education is where I disagree with what’s going on,” he said. “It’s hard for me to accept the high school being gone. I would have liked the town to have more control over it. I would like to keep it open.