So, the new legislative session starts, and everyone wants to do something about the heroin problem. Citizens are calling for action, treatment professionals are calling for action, local elected leaders are calling for action. So the General Assembly acts.
And promptly takes the exact wrong action.
By focusing on throwing addicts in prison as “dealers” for having any amount of heroin in their possession, the Senate’s bill gives us two bad results at once:
- Decreasing the number of people coming forward for treatment
- Increasing the population of our already-overcrowded prisons
As some of you know, I ran for office on the tagline of “Government that works — for all.” This is government that works for no one. The bill fails to accomplish the goal of getting people off heroin, and actually hurts the state by further burdening our prisons and further destroying families.
If Senator McDaniel wants to look tough on crime, let him find another policy area to flex his toughness. When it comes to the heroin problem, let’s do things that work.