December 5, 2017

Bill would increase penalties for heroin distribution

JEFFERSON CITY – State Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton) has filed Senate Bill 589, legislation to keep dangerous heroin dealers off Missouri streets by upgrading the classification of heroin distribution to a class B felony, and increasing the minimum jail time for heroin dealers.

"From Missouri’s most rural towns to our biggest cities, heroin is tearing apart families and ruining lives," said Sen. Scott Sifton. "We must continue to battle the opioid epidemic through addiction treatment and prescription safeguards, but we must also strengthen our laws to keep dangerous heroin dealers off the streets before their deadly drug can take another life."

Under current Missouri law, the distribution of heroin is only a considered a class C felony. Under Sen. Sifton’s SB 589, dealing this uniquely deadly drug would be considered a more significant class B felony. This legislation would also define heroin distribution as a dangerous felony, which would mean that most heroin dealers sent to prison in Missouri would be unable to have their sentence reduced by any more than 15 percent of the maximum sentence imposed by the court.

The 2018 Legislative Session will begin on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.