July 9, 2023 – While the bill claims to go after high-level dealers and “drug kingpins,” it would actually make it easier for someone simply in possession to be brought in on intent to distribute — and make it more difficult for law enforcement and prosecutors to distinguish between someone’s personal supply and someone dealing.

I have experienced this firsthand. When I was using, resupplying was dangerous, so when I bought drugs, I would get enough to last a week. Back in 2017, during a time I was trying to get help, my co-defendant and I were arrested with 200 bags of what we thought was heroin. We found out later it was mostly fentanyl.  The court wanted to charge me with distribution. We were later able to prove it was for personal use only, but I was still put on probation, then sent to drug court, before finally being sent to jail for almost a year. My recovery timeline was completely halted. While I was in jail, I was taken off of suboxone and my medications, and my health deteriorated. I went through withdrawal on top of contracting Covid-19 in jail, causing the pain at the root cause of my addiction to worsen.