Dear ECD Dems,
I am writing this letter because many Eagle County households received a mailer regarding my vote on drug laws. The mailer is inaccurate and misleading. The legislature never "decriminalized" fentanyl or any other drug. In 2019, a bill was passed that lowered the penalty for simple possession of drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor with the recognition that drug addiction is a behavioral health issue and treatment is needed, not just incarceration. It is still very much a crime to possess any amount of drugs and any possession of over 4g or any intent to distribute remains is still a felony level crime.
Fentanyl overdoses have spiked since the pandemic began and that is for a variety of reasons including increased isolation and fentanyl itself - a chemically produced drug - becoming significantly more potent and prevalent. Fentanyl overdoses have increased not only in Colorado, but across the country.
The legislature is actively working on responding to this unique and urgent crisis. We have introduced HB22-1326 which has already passed its first committee hearing and will be debated by the full House in the coming weeks. HB22-1326 does the following things:
Increases penalties for those who deal fentanyl to others
Provides significant funding for drug addiction treatment and recovery
Fund the purchase of narcan and test strips to be distributed across the state
Develops and funds a public awareness campaign about the dangers of fentanyl in conjunction with public health experts, law enforcement, schools, and non-profits
Finally, it lowers the threshold for a felony charge for possession of fentanyl from 4g to 1g. Please read this article that summarizes the current state of that bill.
Please know that I would never support a bill that harms any Coloradoan. Any other questions regarding this issue can be addressed to Dylan@DylanRoberts.org.