Chesterton Tribune



House passes Pelath bill increasing sentences for dealers whose drugs kill

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The Indiana House has approved legislation co-authored by State Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, which targets drug dealers who cause death.

According to a statement released on Monday, H.B. 1359 cleared the House by an 85-12 vote.

That bill would increase criminal sentences for drug dealers whose illegal products--like heroin and methamphetamine--cause death.

Joining Pelath on the measure are State Reps. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, Tom Washburne, R-Evansville, and Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City.

In his recent State of the State Address, Gov. Eric Holcomb embraced the bill as a centerpiece of his agenda.

“Like everyone else in our region, I have had enough of hearing about one drug overdose after another,” Pelath said.

“Most realize that addiction treatment is the final answer to this scourge, but we have to keep up the heat on dealers, suppliers, and drug cooks as well.”

“One insane and insidious aspect of the illegal drug market is that deaths will often increase demand for a product,” Pelath added.

“If your drug kills someone, you should face a longer sentence. It might make some think twice. It might force others to rat out the biggest suppliers above them.”

The measure now moves on to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.


Posted 1/30/2018




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