Target: Chuck Rosenberg, Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration
Goal: Stop charging heroin addicts with homicide and give them the proper medical treatment they need.
Due to a ruling by a Pennsylvania judge early in 2016, heroin users can now be charged with homicide if someone they knew overdosed. The ruling came as a means to give heroin dealers harsher punishments but has wound up targeting the actual users of the drug themselves. Now, instead of having any chance at treatment, a heroin user can be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, which effectively spells out a death sentence for them. Demand that heroin users stop being treated as criminals and make it so that we prosecute heroin addiction as a disease rather than a crime.
There are similar laws in several other states that allow prosecutors to charge anyone caught providing heroin to somebody as a “murderer,” even if those people are suffering from addiction themselves. These type of laws are archaic and have only really been strictly enforced in the last few years as heroin addiction has been on the rise.
As we’ve seen from countless medical studies though, heroin addiction is cured much easier when it’s treated as a mental illness and not a crime. So despite the fact that many addicts are sitting behind bars now, almost none of them have access to the treatment that’ll cure their addiction, so the tides will never change for them. Sign this petition to demand that heroin addicts receive the help that they need, instead of being charged with drug-induced homicide if they in the company of an accidental overdose.
Dear Administrator Rosenberg,
On both a federal and state level all across this country, helpless heroin addicts are slowly killing themselves because nobody will recognize their disease for what it is, a disease. Heroin addiction is a very delicate situation that needs to be handled with the utmost care instead of jail time.
As a country we need to begin treating addiction as the mental illness we know it to be, rather than a crime punishable by prison time. Most addicts who suffer from their disease do not want to be addicts; they just want to be free of the monkey on their back. So by placing them in jail, all we are really doing is telling them that they aren’t allowed to be cured.
To really tackle heroin abuse in this country, place act to appeal all the archaic laws that treat addiction as some sort of violent crime rather than a symptom of addiction. It’s time for the DEA to step up and stop prosecuting heroin addicts as criminals and give them the proper medical treatment they so rightfully deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Psychonaught