Tell Governor Northam: Veto Harsh Drug Sentencing Bill

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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.

Message Recipients:
Governor Northam

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Your Message

House Bill 2528 would allow someone to be charged with felony homicide for supplying a drug to another adult who takes the drug voluntarily and overdoses. This legislation would be expensive, overly harsh, and ineffective in addressing drug addiction in our communities.

Virginia doesn’t need stiffer penalties for drug dealers and people who share drugs with friends. Virginia law already provides for stiff penalties for drug distributors, and the Commonwealth’s resources would be better served promoting treatment programs in tackling drug dependency in our communities.

As a doctor and a scientist, we hope you will agree that the escalating human cost of the proliferation of opiates in our Commonwealth needs smarter, evidence-based responses than this bill offers, and, accordingly, that you will choose to veto this expensive, unnecessary and ineffective legislation.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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