Bill targets drug dealers in overdose cases

If someone you know may be abusing drugs, here are a few signs to look out for. Photo courtesy Majumalon via Slideshare

Florida lawmakers have recently proposed Senate Bill 1260 and companion House Bill 325. These bills will change the typical procedure used to charge drug dealers with murder in deadly overdoses or other criminal penalties for non-deadly cases.

Nikita Roxx resides in Tallahassee. She believes strongly that if drug dealers are going to be held accountable in overdose cases, then the family or other enablers should be punished as well.

“If someone does any type of drugs and they don’t know how to moderate themselves then that is on them. This proposed bill is just a way for hurt families to pass the buck, and avoid the real elephant in the room — that their loved one was just an addict and the accountability falls on the one who’s overdosing,” Roxx said.

She says charging their loved ones for enabling an addict is just as absurd as it would be to charge the drug dealers who sold to them.

“If that dealer didn’t deal then the addict could find probably another dealer in a second,” Roxx said. “Most addicts have multiple dealers anyway, so it’s just a waste of time and money to charge these drug dealers who are people too by the way.”

The proposed law would mean that prosecutors only need to prove that the drug was a substantial factor in the death instead of the proximate cause, making it easier to charge drug dealers.

Like Roxx, Tracey Gregory lives in Tallahassee and believes that the users are responsible for their own actions. She also thinks that if drug dealers are going to be held accountable, then pharmaceutical companies should be as well.

“Once a person purchases the drugs it’s their choice to do it. They’re not forced, they do it in the dark or in a situation that isn’t safe and they die,” Gregory said. “That’s a risk you take putting that junk in your body. They will have to start suing all the pharmaceuticals companies as well, but they won’t go after them because they are the money makers.”

Daniel Hernandez also shared his dislike for this effort.

“I don’t like it. All drugs should be decriminalized to thin out the herd,” Hernandez said.

However, there are others who agree that more could be done to keep drug dealers off the street and that it could help decrease the amount of drug addicts and overdose cases.

These bills were proposed by Sen. Jason Brodeur and Rep. Scott Plakon, both Republicans. Neither bill has been heard by any committees to date.