Doctors plead lawmakers not to punish dealers for overdoses

News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Medical professionals are making their last plea in a bid to stop a bill that would punish drug dealers for fatal overdoses.

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on “Kristen’s Law.” The Senate has already passed it.

The law is named for Kristen Coutu, who died in 2014 of a fentanyl overdose. She thought she was taking heroin.

The man who sold her the drugs was convicted of second-degree murder. Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s bill would make it easier to levy those charges.

Medical groups have argued the bill would punish mostly low-level drug dealers and addicts.

Kilmartin says his prosecutors will target predatory traffickers.

Two doctors on the governor’s overdose task force responded, saying he should listen to professionals on the front lines of the crisis.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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