Steve Daniels, writing for WTVD:
Prosecutors have a new tool to help reduce the number of people dying in North Carolina from opioid overdoses.
On Monday, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law the "death by distribution" act.
It allows prosecutors to charge drug dealers with second-degree murder.
Fuck this spin. “New tool” my ass. This is a horribly misguided and frustratingly ignorant legislation that will cause more harms than the drugs do themselves, the type of thing that frankly makes me straight-up ashamed to hail from the Tar Heel State. Allow me to briefly explain why:
Many “drug dealers” are actually just drug users that are selling small amounts of drugs to support their own habit. These people need help to address real problems like addiction and other mental health issues and do not deserve to be criminalized.
This will undoubtedly cause preventable deaths by discouraging 911 calls. Why would a drug user (or provider) call for emergency assistance when they might run the risk of being charged with murder for trying to help their friend stay alive?
People who are trying to be charitable by gifting drugs to their friends, or acquiring drugs for a group who would otherwise not have access to them, are often charged under this type of law. They too should not be charged with murder for trying to help people they know access the drugs that they want (or need, in the case of true dependence).
And when it comes to coverage like this, I have to say that I’m not at all surprised that a local news outlet in the South isn’t educated about drugs, but I am disappointed.