An Idaho Senator has proposed a new bill to decriminalize drugs.
“We have too much of a focus on prosecution and punishment and not enough on treatment,” Sen. Burgoyne told KTVB.
Burgoyne noted that his drug decriminalization legislation isn’t pointing fingers at law enforcement, but at how and where drug-related resources are committed in the state.
“We don’t have a functioning mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment capability for the needs of our people,” Burgoyne mentioned. “We need new strategies, how we draw the lines between what is criminal conduct and what is not criminal conduct when it comes to drug possession and usage.”
Burgoyne wants Idaho legislators to see the topic from a public health perspective and not merely from a criminal justice perspective. His goal isn’t to actually decriminalize drugs but to start a conversation to improve the current conditions.
“It is costing the state of Idaho, it’s costing our local jurisdictions a great deal of money and we know the human cost of drugs in our society, it’s an extreme cost, children and adults die,” Burgoyne stated.