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H474 “Death by Distribution” could increase overdose deaths and wastes resources by targeting friends and family members of overdose victims

According to evidence from other states, H474 could discourage people from calling 911 for medical help, leading to more overdose deaths. People who have lost family members to drug overdoses criticized the bill over the fear people won’t call 911 for help. Evidence from other states shows the majority of people prosecuted under this type of law were friends or family also suffering from addiction.

Harsher penalties don’t reduce harms; similar laws put in place during the “war on drugs” did little to combat rates of drug addiction and overdoses.

Existing law is sufficient to prosecute people for deaths resulting from knowing distribution of a dangerous substance. North Carolina courts have found sufficient evidence of malice in several cases where the defendant distributed drugs knowing that they were very dangerous.

Read more here.