How far will California Democrats go to realize their dream of legalizing dangerous drugs and rolling back criminal penalties for drug-related crimes?
The Democratic-dominated state legislature’s public safety committee considered two bills that would have increased penalties for fentanyl-related crimes only to turn around and either block them or severely weaken them.
“Despite all the talk, the extremist legislators who opposed these bills guaranteed that innocent Californians will continue to die, victims of drug dealers profiting off poisoning our communities,” Assembly Republican leader James Gallagher said in a statement after the hearing. “These bills were not criminalizing addiction, returning to the ‘war on drugs,’ or any other lie told by the pro-fentanyl lobbyists. They were reasonable, bipartisan proposals to save lives.”
Accidental overdose deaths in California are skyrocketing, but those deaths take a back seat to the political goal of decriminalizing drug sales. You see, arresting fentanyl dealers disproportionately impacts a certain racial minority who shall not be named because to do so would be, well, racist.
On Tuesday, the California Senate public safety committee—which like its Assembly counterpart is stacked with progressives—voted down for the second time a bipartisan bill that would have let law enforcement advise fentanyl dealers that their pills can be deadly. If those dealers sold fentanyl again and killed someone, they could have then faced second-degree murder charges. A similar law for drunk drivers has been on the books for years.
During Thursday’s hearing in the Assembly, Democrats were often on defense against allegations that they simply oppose action to address the fentanyl crisis. Several progressive lawmakers unfavorably likened the bills on offer to the war on drugs and touted “harm reduction” programs as a superior alternative to jailing fentanyl dealers.
Harm reduction programs for users have, in fact, proven ineffective. But for dealers who kill their customers, there should be a dark hole that society could toss them into. It’s incredibly stupid to take the stuff, but those who sell it know exactly what they’re doing and what they’re selling.
The Democrats they’ve been doing “something” about the fentanyl crisis.
“We are doing something,” said Assemblywoman Mia Bonta (D.), the wife of California Attorney General Rob Bonta, citing California’s $61 billion investment in harm reduction programs, including widespread distribution of overdose medication and test strips that can detect the presence of fentanyl in other drugs. “Not enough, but we have been doing something.”
If they were effective, more than 5,000 users would still be alive. This is not about public health. It’s not about crime prevention. This is about race and the radical progressive lawmakers who believe that there are too many black people being arrested for drug crimes.
Even if they’re guilty as hell.