Act Now to Help Those We Love: Treatment, not incarceration
Tell the Texas Legislature that our loved ones with addiction need treatment, not incarceration. Drug addiction should be treated locally, close to family, church and community members our loved ones respect. HB 2398 by state Rep. Phil King is the best vehicle we have in 2017 to make that happen.
People with addiction are less likely to return to criminal behaviors if they have a job, take care of others, and generally have an opportuity to be a responsible citizen. Even if the government considers them criminals, among those who love them, their lives still matter.
Possession of any amount of a drug in Texas is a felony. The felony conviction itself -- by creating high barriers to employment, education and housing -- harms prospects for drug treatment and recovery. Meanwhile, taxpayers pay more than $100 million per year to incarcerate people with addictions, most of whom cycle out and quickly back ito the system. This is government at its worst -- both ineffective and inefficient.
Texas needs a new, more loving approach. HB 2398 wold ensure that people with an addiction get treatment at the local level through the misdemeanor court system. To that end, HB 2398 would reduce the sentence for the lowest level possession [amounts less than 1 gram, or about a sugar packet] to a Class A misdemeanor, while increasing penalties for dealers. Jail can still be used, but people will stay close to family and local support systems while focusing on treatment and recovery. Learn more about this issue!
Tell the Texas Legislature to end felony incarceration for drug addiction and focus those resources on treatment at the local level. It's a simple act of love.