Two recent stories may reflect a strategic shift in the way the drug war is being fought.
Police are treating drug overdose calls as crime scenes instead of accidents, according to this ABC News report. The idea is to charge drug dealers in connection with overdoses, charges that can carry up to a 20-year sentence. It’s a strategic shift away from busting users of heroin and instead targeting higher-level dealers.
It’s not unlike what occurred in the American Pain pill mill case I’m writing about. Federal prosecutors used the threat of death-related charges to persuade most of the defendants to plead guilty to conspiracy charges (though a jury recently found two doctors not guilty of most charges).
At the same time, the U.S. Attorney General announced plans to reduce the number of nonviolent drug offenders in prison.