Gov. Paul LePage said he opposes rules that will allow pharmacists to dispense the overdose revival drug Narcan, because these rules would also allow 18-year-olds to buy and administer the drug, while they are still unable to purchase cigarettes or alcohol.
LePage told Maine Public call-in show host Jennifer Rooks that he'll oppose the new Narcan rules unless “everything else is 18.”
Rooks asked, “But if cigarettes and alcohol stay 21, you're not going to support it?”
“That's a drug. It should be 21,” said LePage.
The governor has been critical of a law passed last year that prohibits anyone 21 or younger from purchasing tobacco products. He's previously threatened to submit legislation to raise Maine's voting age to 21 in protest.
LePage he has been heavily criticized for not endorsing the Narcan rules at a time when Maine is averaging one overdose death per day.
LePage said Narcan doesn't save lives, but extends them, reiterating a remark that has also drawn criticism.
The Maine Board of Pharmacy could vote to authorize the rules on Thursday.