New non-criminal paradigms needed for the heroin addiction health crisis

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
October 20 2016

The epidemic of heroin use and deaths associated with heroin use needs to be addressed by non-criminal methods.

Washingtom Post Editorial:  Heroin use is a public health emergency that calls for legislative solutions

This article makes some good points, and I’ll share them.


“….we are skeptical that some measures to further criminalize already illegal drugs such as heroin will be effective. One idea, pushed by some prosecutors, is to expose drug dealers to homicide charges if they sell what turns out to be a lethal overdose. The experience of the federal war on drugs suggests that harsher penalties fill up jails and prisons without doing much to extinguish the sale of illegal narcotics. A wiser tack is to treat heroin addiction as a public health emergency. That means establishing more readily available long-term treatment programs, preferably in residential settings that can help shield users from dealers. Such programs cost money.”

Life after a drug arrest
Life after a drug arrest can be very difficult


“There are other sensible steps that states can take. They include enacting so-called good Samaritan laws (in place in Maryland and the District but not yet in Virginia) that shield witnesses from prosecution — even if they abuse or sell drugs themselves — if they promptly report and help overdose victims.”


“…it’s also worth tracking the results of legislation adopted in New York that allows addicts to remain in treatment programs while they appeal decisions by insurance companies that have denied coverage.”

Read the whole editorial and decide for yourself. I hope yoou agree that there are better places than the criminal courts for these cases.

Ventura County, California criminal defense lawyer and State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist Jay Leiderman handles all types of drug-related cases, including drug dealing, drug trafficking, drug possession, DUI, and medical marijuana cases involving the CUA or Prop 215 and SB 420 also known as the MMPA, as well as cases of all types involving the mentally ill who “self medicate” due to a lack of treatment. Jay has spent a lot of time and resources fighting against the drug war.