House Bill 2528 would expand the law to allow someone to be charged with felony homicide for supplying a drug to another adult who takes the drug voluntarily and overdoses. This bill wouldn’t just punish drug dealers, who are already subject to substantial penalties, but would make it a felony regardless of whether the drug is sold or given to the person who overdoses.
After more than 40 years of the failed War on Drugs, we know one thing for sure – imposing harsh punishments on drug dealers hasn’t solved the problem of drug addiction. Drugs are just as available, cheap, and in demand as ever.
Programs rooted in treatment rather than incarceration have proven to be much more effective in reducing drug dependency. The Commonwealth should focus on what actually works to save lives, including safe reporting laws, better and more widely available treatment programs, and stigma-free services.