Let’s not pass this bill in Arizona. It harms drug addicts and won’t do anything to prevent people from using illegal narcotics.
Arizona bill targets dangerous drug traffickers
Maria Polletta, reporting for the Arizona Republic.
Those who sell or share drugs linked to overdose deaths could face up to 25 years in prison under House Bill 2779, a measure aimed at taking down dangerous drug traffickers who knowingly taint or misrepresent their products.
Justice reform advocates argue the bill would more likely punish low-level dealers selling to support their addictions, boosting the state's already swollen prison population rather than public safety.
In addition to creating the crime of “drug trafficking homicide,” HB 2779 would establish tougher minimum sentences for those caught selling or possessing even small amounts of heroin, fentanyl or fentanyl-like drugs.
It also would make those offenders ineligible for probation, early release or virtually any other incentive.
"The idea that these mandatory minimums are going to deter people — that assumes that individuals who engage in illegal behavior are rational actors and they can accurately weigh future consequences in the moment," said Zachary Stout, a former opioid user who now advocates for sentencing and drug policy changes.
"Drug users who are suffering from addiction are not rational," he said. "If the intent is to decrease the number of overdoses and combat the opioid crisis, then this bill is the perfect example of a complete failure of understanding."