Sad, cruel politics pushes drug possession to re-criminalize

House Speaker Alec Garnett (D-Denver).

In the Colorado House today, there is intense debate over legislation that would tighten fines for distributing the dangerous synthetic opioid drug fentanyl, which is responsible for the sharp rise in deaths due to the drug’s potency and frequent replacement for other street drugs. . CBS4 Denver Shawn Boyd Report:

House Speaker Alec Garnett is not punching. He says some lawmakers are pushing ahead with election-year politics to save lives.

Garnet.[has] Spent hundreds of hours on a bill that made it a crime to distribute even small amounts of fentanyl, and those who sold fentanyl needed mandatory imprisonment that resulted in death, knowing it was fentanyl or not.

But some lawmakers have said they would oppose the bill if it did not include criminal charges for possession of any amount of fentanyl.

Under the bill, less than 4 grams is a misdemeanor.

“I’m disappointed that people across the state just think that zeroing in on fentanyl will solve this problem,” Garnett said. [Pols emphasis]

In 2019, Colorado passed a bipartisan law creating easy possession যার possession for personal use without any intention of distributing money — most drugs are a misdemeanor. This reform of the penal code in favor of treating drug addiction as a cure for criminal offenses has been mistakenly blamed for the increase in fentanyl-related deaths in recent years, although significant. Colorado is not unique-Which then capitalized on public fears about rising crime for electoral advantage in mid-November, allowing Republicans to turn it into political football.

The biggest problem with the illegal distribution of fentanyl is that the drug is often misrepresented, substituted, or added to other street drugs without the end user’s knowledge. This directly leads to excessive death of users who either have no idea what they are eating or mistaken fentanyl for a drug that they will consume in large quantities. This may mean that the arbitrary value of 4 grams is too high in the case of fentanyl, but it does not change the basic intent of the 2019 law: drug addicts should be treated medically instead of being forced into a second life – class citizenship that comes with a criminal offense.

And that means Colorado’s easy possession of drugs shouldn’t be taken back as a crime. Punish dealers, not addicts. This is a simple and politically defensive message that Democrats can win if they are strong against current passions and political opportunism.

Let’s hope so, because their hearts এবং and good politics in the long run সঠিক were right for the first time.

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