Colorado’s drug laws are constantly changing. With changes in the law come changes in the elements that a prosecutor must prove in order to convict someone of things like drug possession or distribution. The newest bill being debated in Colorado’s legislature has both strong vocal support and opposition, due to the effect it will have on the consequences for fentanyl possession.
What supporters of the bill like about it
If this new bill becomes law as currently written, there will be a mandatory prison sentence for anyone who sells fentanyl that ends up killing someone. Fentanyl is more deadly than most drugs, since only two milligrams is enough to kill most people. This measure is designed to hold dealers accountable for the deaths that their product causes.
The bill also sets aside a greater amount of funds for treatment of drug addicted individuals and education programs, in an attempt to make strides toward resolving the cause of Colorado’s fentanyl crisis.
What critics of the bill fear
Perhaps the most controversial portion of the bill is the section that makes possession of fentanyl a felony – even if it is only a small amount. Those who are caught with fentanyl can have their charges reduced to a misdemeanor if they complete a treatment program.
Some opponents of the bill say that this penalty is too severe, and that the possession of a small amount of a drug should never constitute a felony. The controversy revolves around the debate on whether harsh penalties are the most effective deterrent and response to Colorado’s severe drug problem.
Whether the bill passes as written or will undergo revisions before becoming law remains to be seen. Either way, if you are a Colorado resident, you should always remain informed as to the current state of Colorado’s drug laws.