Liberals refuse to prioritize penalties for drug dealers

By Kristi Burton Brown

A recent report reveals that Colorado is the 5th worst state in the nation for drug use:

Teen drug use is particularly dire. Despite the fact that overdose deaths and substance abuse are plaguing our communities, Democrats in the Colorado House have so far refused to give a committee hearing to SB23-109, a bill that would hold drug dealers accountable when people die.

Only after pressure from Senator Byron Pelton, Republicans across the state, and Advance Colorado has the bill now tentatively been scheduled for a last minute hearing in committee tomorrow afternoon where its fate remains unclear.  

District Attorney John Kellner noted in a statement released by Advance Colorado that “political games at the Capitol are standing in the way of implementing tougher penalties for drug dealers who profit from selling substances that kill our neighbors.” 

Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly agreed that more tools are needed – not fewer – to curb Colorado’s crime and drug crisis: “The legislature needs to provide more tools to law enforcement to help fight Colorado’s growing drug epidemic, and increasing the penalties on drug dealers who murder our fellow Coloradans is a no-brainer.”

A no-brainer, that is, except for extreme liberal Democrats like Judiciary Chair Mike Weissman who has been stalling out this bill for a month and a half. In that same time period, he’s voted against a bill that would heighten the penalty for indecent exposure to children and voted for a bill changing some felonies to misdemeanors. Clearly, the agenda is to cushion the lives of criminals and make it more difficult for victims to seek justice.

As Advance Colorado President Michael Fields says, “Thousands of Coloradans have lost their lives to drug dealers who have no regard for human life. It’s time for Governor Polis to step up. If he is serious about making Colorado one of the top-ten safest states in the nation, he needs to weigh in on SB23-109 and help get it across the finish line.”

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About the Author:

Kristi Burton Brown is the Senior Policy Advisor for Advance Colorado.