Senate Republicans will push this session to make it easier for prosecutors to try to convict people as drug dealers. Senate GOP leadership Tuesday announced this measure is one of their priorities for the upcoming session:
Indiana’s recent criminal code reform required prosecutors to have evidence besides just the weight of a drug to prove someone was dealing drugs – for instance, scales and plastic baggies.
Indianapolis Republican Senator Mike Young wants to eliminate that extra requirement if a person is caught with at least thirty pounds of marijuana or ten grams of other drugs. Young notes those amounts are just a starting point and could change:
“But we think that that’s, looking at it that that’s way… it’s probably the amount that would be more than someone could use for their personal use,” said Young.
But Bloomington Democratic Representative Matt Pierce says the only way to win the war on drugs is to halt the demand – which he says means focusing on treatment and rehabilitation:
“You’re never going to be able to cut off the supply because the minute you take that one person off the street who has more than ten grams, one hour later there’s going to be another person right in their place,” said Pierce.
Pierce acknowledges that a minimum weight to prove dealing might be prudent…but isn’t sure if Young’s amounts are high enough. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith at the Statehouse.