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State Rep. Nick Collins pushes for harsher penalties

for drug related crimes

From a press release:

State Representative Nick Collins recently testified at the Massachusetts State House in support of a bill which would create new, harsher penalties for criminal activities leading to deaths from opioid overdoses.  The bill was filed by Rep. Collins earlier this year.   
 
Currently, district attorneys are unable to bring charges against drug profiteers whose activities lead to the death of drug users from overdoses. The proposed legislation seeks to remedy that problem by creating new criminal charges that district attorneys can bring against individuals who manufacture, sell, distribute, or dispense methamphetamine, lysergic acid, diethylamide phencyclidine (PCP) or any other controlled drug substance when their drug distribution results in the death of an individual by the injection, inhalation or ingestion of the controlled substance.  In those circumstances, the distributor can be held strictly liable for the individual’s death.
 
“There is no one answer to solving the problem of drugs and addiction or the loss, suffering and violence inherent in them,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. “We know that addressing this scourge requires prevention, education and enforcement and the coordinated approach of health care providers, educators, law enforcement and the entire community.  Representative Collins’ bill, H.1214, smartly recognizes that drug addiction and fatal overdoses don’t just happen. There are people who cause it, feed it and profit from it and they should bear responsibility for the consequences, especially when it results in the loss of life.”  
 
“Unfortunately, deaths from drug overdoses have increased exponentially in Massachusetts in recent years,” said Rep. Collins.  “This bill will further aid our district attorneys and law enforcement agencies in this important public safety matter by making those profiteers who are responsible for drug and opioid distribution accountable for the deaths caused by their distribution.”  
 
The bill is now being considered by the Joint Committee on Judiciary.
 

 

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Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.