Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey faults bill to create drug sentence system

The idea behind Sen. Pat Steadman’s proposal to overhaul Colorado’s drug sentencing laws on its surface is simple: Prioritize treatment over incarceration and, in turn, lower the recidivism rates of habitual drug users.

But even as the Denver Democrat’s effort has garnered the support of his Republican colleagues, it’s caused a rift with Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, who staunchly opposes the legislation and argues it gives high-level drug dealers a break when it comes to prison sentences and offers more incentive to continue breaking the law.

Senate Bill 250, which passed out of the Senate by a vote of 34-1 on Wednesday and now heads to the House in these final days of the legislative session, is derived from the work of the state’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and creates a specialized drug-only sentencing system.

In Colorado, drug sentencing is included in the same sentencing system with violent crimes.

Read more at The Denver Post