Haven't our legislators learned anything? The State Assembly has unanimously passed A783, a bill that increases penalties for possession of various drugs. The goal is to go after distributors however it uses weight of material possessed as the only factor in determining seriousness of the offense. The bill decreases threshold offenses for many drugs.

Of note is the estimated financial impact: "Costs would total $3,393,164, in the third year following enactment, increase to $5,552,214 in the fourth year, and $7,711,264 during the fifth and succeeding years following enactment." The total financial impact is stated as being "higher than the amount estimated by the DOC by an undetermined amount."

There is an editorial against by Daniel J. Meara of the NJ Council on Drug and Alcohol Dependence on nj.com.

This will pass the senate and become law unless we make a lot of noise. Drugs destroy lives - but criminal offenses destroy lives as well. The heroin epidemic is primarily a medical problem. Jail and exorbitant fines help no one.