Rethinking drug dealing and punishment

Texas residents are likely interested to see how the Drug Enforcement Administration will face its emergency order that expires on February 6, 2020, classifying fentanyl-like substances as Schedule 1, which makes it easier for authorities to seize these substances, launch investigations, and prosecute traffickers. However, there are serious concerns that making this decision would lead to more dangerous drug abuse and disproportionately affect communities of color.

The National Association of Attorneys Generals, the DEA, and the DOJ are in favor of passing the SOFA Act, which is designed to go after traffickers who sell analogs and make a dent in the illicit fentanyl supply. However, some feel that the SOFA Act will just expand the power of the DEA and criminalize low-income communities.

One problem that many see is that drug laws do not make a clear distinction between sellers and users. When cracking down on one, it leads to crackdowns on the other. Individuals who use drugs often sell them in small amounts to their friends. The vast majority of drug arrests do not affect high-level distributors. The majority of people who are arrested possess and sell small amounts of drugs.

There is concern that locking up individuals who sell small amounts of fentanyl-like substances will create unpredictability and volatility in drug markets. It may lead to the introduction of more risky drugs than fentanyl. And it does not help individuals who are dealing with an addiction.

An individual who has been accused of a crime, like selling drugs, may want to discuss their situation with a criminal defense attorney. Attorneys are not just for people who are guilty. The attorney could examine a person’s case and use evidence, like eyewitness testimonies and CCTV footage, to prove the individual’s innocence or create reasonable doubt.