Fate of Heroin Bill Uncertain in Kentucky General Assembly

Apr 1, 2014

A bill that would raise penalties for heroin traffickers and expand addiction treatment is on shaky ground in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The proposed legislation barely passed a House committee due to concerns over language that would charge drug dealers with homicide in overdose deaths.

House State Government.Committee chair Brent Yonts said there are “major problems” with the constitutionality of charging dealers for the deaths of people they’re never met.

“One who sells heroin foresees that it’s bad and will kill, and they’re potentially liable for that death even though they may be three people distant from the one who actually gave it or sold it to the one who died,” Yonts said.

Yonts said without changes, he doesn’t think the bill will pass. A bill last year was killed over similar concerns.