OPIOIDS AND DRUG DEALERS
The opioid epidemic is real. The death toll is real. There were 558 opioid overdose deaths in 2017 in Colorado alone. Our communities have been flooded with prescription drugs such as oxycodone and fentanyl that lead to addiction and abuse, wrecking lives and tearing apart families in the process. Often this addiction to pharmaceuticals leads to heroin use because heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain on the street. Eventually, many users are arrested by police and put into the justice system. This represents an opportunity for intervention and treatment that could save their lives. As a prosecutor, I helped start our Veterans Treatment Court, a way for victims of addiction who had served our country, and in many cases had turned to drugs to cope with the lasting impacts of their service, to access treatment resources and turn their lives around.
But drug dealers should not be handled the same way as addicts in the justice system. As District Attorney, I will aggressively prosecute the dealers who promote this poison and push more drugs on those who are addicted. I will ensure that we scrutinize deaths from drug overdose and work hard to locate the dealers who made the overdose a reality. With an increased focus on overdose victims we can identify and prosecute the dealers who are directly contributing to the rising death toll and the thousands of living victims who still suffer with addiction.
To deter other drug dealers I will seek enhanced sentences for the dealers whose conduct contributes to overdose deaths. This approach worked in the case of Almeda Sullivan, a former teacher’s aide who repeatedly pushed drugs on young adults who overdosed, and ultimately pled guilty to murder.