SB23-109 stalled in committee despite bipartisan support
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Thursday, May 4, 2023

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Fields
(720) 218-9478

Kellner and Weekly Blast Inaction on Bill to Hold Drug Dealers Accountable

DENVER – Days away from the end of the legislative session, John Kellner, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District and Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly are blasting the lack of action on bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Byron Pelton (R-Sterling) and Senator Kyle Mullica (D-Thornton) to raise the penalty for drug dealers that sell substances that lead to the death of their user.

Senate Bill 23-109 passed the State Senate a month ago. Since then, it has sat, waiting for Representative Mike Weissman (D-Aurora) to give it a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, where he is the Chair. With the legislative session ending in less than a week, time is running out.
“A bipartisan coalition of legislators and District Attorneys support this bill because it’s sound policy that will save lives,” said John Kellner, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District. “It’s unfortunate that political games at the Capitol are standing in the way of implementing tougher penalties for drug dealers who profit from selling substances that kill our neighbors. I urge Representative Weissman to get to work on this bill immediately in the House Judiciary Committee so that we can hold drug dealers accountable and help prevent more drug deaths in Colorado.”
“The legislature needs to provide more tools to law enforcement to help fight Colorado’s growing drug epidemic and increasing the penalties on drug dealers who murder our fellow Coloradans is a no-brainer,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly. “Every day across our state, brave men and women put on a uniform and work hard to keep our streets safe, but the legislature has been unable to put in the work to pass this bipartisan piece of commonsense legislation. Representative Weissman needs to immediately act on this bill to hold drug dealers accountable for the havoc they are wreaking on our state and if he doesn’t, his liberal colleagues should apply the maximum amount of pressure possible. We can’t afford another year of unnecessary drug deaths in our state and the time for the liberals in the legislature to act is now.”
Michael Fields, President of Advance Colorado, recently issued the following statement asking Representative Weissman to take action or explain to Coloradans why he is prioritizing dangerous drug dealers over the People of Colorado. 
“What’s the hold up here? If Representative Weissman plans on killing this bipartisan bill by not giving it a hearing on time, he should have the courage to say so. Thousands of Coloradans have lost their lives to drug dealers who have no regard for human life. If Representative Weissman wants to stand with those dealers and not give this bill a chance in his committee, then Coloradans need to know.
It’s also time for Governor Polis to step up. If he is serious about making Colorado one of the top-ten safest states in the nation, he needs to weigh in on SB23-109 and help get it across the finish line.”

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