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Interest in Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Grows

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Interest in Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Grows

By billupsj

Drug-induced homicide laws, which punish people who sell drugs that lead to accidental overdose deaths and carry sentences equivalent to those for manslaughter and murder, have been on the books in some states since the 1980s. Today, 20 states have drug-induced homicide laws, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.   As local, state and federal policymakers grapple with the growing problem of overdose deaths, some have turned to using and/or strengthening existing laws or passing new ones despite the lack of evidence that these laws are effective in reducing overdose deaths.  For example, Florida passed a law that would allow prosecutors to charge drug dealers with capital murder in some circumstances.  The heightened penalties were bundled in with allowances for increased naloxone access, and the bill passed unanimously.  In 2017, 13 states introduced bills that would create or strengthen drug-induced homicide laws.