From ACLU of Wisconsin <[email protected]>
Subject This would make the overdose crisis worse
Date June 14, 2023 2:03 PM
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Ask Governor Evers to veto SB 101.

Friend –

A War on Drugs-era bill that could make Wisconsin's overdose crisis even worse is heading to Governor Evers' desk, and we need your help to stop it.

Last week, Senate Bill 101 was passed by the Wisconsin State Assembly. <[link removed]> SB 101 doubles down on the myth that we can incarcerate ourselves out of addiction. The bill, if signed into law, would mean that anyone who provided drugs to a person who later fatally overdosed, could face a reckless homicide charge and possibly up to 60 years in prison. This would add an additional 20 years to the maximum 40-year sentence that can be handed down under current law.

Message Governor Evers and ask him to reject SB 101. <[link removed]>

Take Action <[link removed]>

Len Bias Laws – as these statutes are commonly known – allow prosecutors to file murder charges against friends, family, and partners of those who die after using drugs if they were the ones who provided the drugs. While purportedly targeting drug kingpins and mass distributors, this legislation can, and is used to lock up friends, family, and romantic partners of people who die of an overdose. The law does not account for the fact that people who are close to each other routinely share and use drugs together, and that tragic, unanticipated overdoses can happen.

While reducing rates of overdose deaths is certainly an urgent priority, SB 101 won't alleviate the crisis. An extensive body of research – as well as our own lived experiences – tells us that punitive drug laws don't reduce drug use, addiction, overdoses, or drug crimes. In fact, Len Bias Laws actually make it less likely that someone will seek help for someone suffering an overdose because they fear potential prosecution. If an already excessive maximum 40-year sentence hasn't slowed the rate of overdose deaths, do we really expect 20 more years to result in anything different?

We need solutions that tackle the root causes of the overdose crisis, not more draconian drug laws that will do nothing except do more damage.

Enough is enough. Ask Governor Evers to turn away from the War on Drugs, veto SB 101, and embrace evidence-based approaches that actually confront the overdose epidemic head-on. Message him now. <[link removed]>

Thanks for sticking with us,

ACLU of Wisconsin

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